Friday, September 13, 2013

Guinea Update v3.0

Yesterday I fixed a place outside under the out building deck where I could put the cage for the guineas.  It would be dry and high enough off the ground where predators shouldn't be able to reach them.

I couldn't get the guineas in the cage.  They were more scary than before all the attacks but they were still relatively unafraid of me.  I just can't put my hands on them.  Not anymore, they were too fast.  I could still herd them but they refused to go into the cage.  After several attempts I gave up trying.

About dark they flew up in their usual tree to roost.  I need to explain about this tree.  It is not really a tree.  It is some kind of shrub that resembles a tree.  My nephew the gardener said years ago it was the largest of its type he had ever seen.  It has grown considerably since then.  Anyway it is probably 18 to 20 feet tall but as you can imagine being a shrub, the trunk and limbs are small in diameter.  You can shake it easily and I wondered why the guineas liked roosting there because the limbs they roost on are unsteady at best.  At worse they sway wildly when it's windy.  I have an oak tree near it.  Its first branch reaches out to the top of the shrub.

Around 2:00 AM this morning I was nearly asleep.  I heard a slight sound like a small limb brushing against a window.  I figured it must be Leo wanting in but it didn't really sound like him and he wasn't at the door.  I went outside and looked up into the shrub.  At least two raccoons!  It seemed impossible that they could be walking on the limbs they were on; the limbs were so small.  Before I thought I grabbed hold of one of the shrub trunks and began shaking as hard as I could.  Then I remembered the story of how dangerous raccoons can be and backed off.  I had left a shovel on the deck and I grabbed it.

How I wished I had a gun!

I heard one of the guineas fly but couldn't tell where.  The raccoons did not fall out of the tree.  Instead they just climbed higher and over onto the oak tree branch.  They wouldn't come down out of that tree.  I finally gave up and came inside.

One thing I realized.  Maybe why the guineas preferred that shrub was how flimsy the limbs are.  Its shaking could warn them of danger?  Maybe it was an evolution thing.  How they survived?

This morning I went out to see if any of the guineas had lived through the night.  Incredibly all five were alive and well!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Strangers

My guineas are being killed.  I wrote this short work of fiction this morning to get my mind off that.  Hope you like the story.

The old woman with her buggy full of groceries hesitated for a moment near the checkout area of the Piggly Wiggly.The store was practically empty and the girl at the express checkout called to her.  "Ma'am, I'll check you out here."

With that the old lady swerved her buggy to the side of the counter and began unloading the groceries.  She had the look of old women you don't often see anymore.  Gray wiry hair that weeks ago had a permanent but was now over grown and slightly unkempt as if it had been carelessly brushed a few times before she left home.  There was no makeup on her face and it was gently wrinkled around her eyes and mouth.  She was slightly overweight.  It showed in her sagging throat, her fatty upper arms and belly.  And she was wearing a dress.

She wasn't aware of the younger man standing next to her buggy until she laid two bunches of bananas on the counter.  He said, "I'm going home with you."
She looked around at him not knowing what to say.  He was a nice looking middle age man, nicely dressed."  The man smiled and quickly added, "it looks like you are going to make banana pudding."
She smiled, "why yes I am.  My husband loves it."
"I do too," the man said.
She continued talking as she and the man unloaded the buggy.  "The doctor says I have to be careful about how many bananas Ed eats, he can get too much potassium."
"If that doesn't make him too bad sick, the pudding is worth it," the man joked.
The old woman laughed a little.
The man loaded the buggy with the checked out groceries while the old woman slowly and carefully wrote a check for payment.  When she was done the man said, "where's your car?"

The old woman grew a little apprehensive.  It was one thing for strangers to be friendly but this was getting out of hand.  The man had a firm grip on her buggy though and she couldn't think of a way to get rid of him politely.
She pointed to the right front doors of store, "this way."
She walked in front of the buggy and the man followed her her quietly.  The noise of the buggy wheels on the pavement seemed uncommonly loud as the silence between them became increasingly uncomfortable.

When they reached the car, she said, "I've never seen you in the store, do you know me somehow?"
The man said, "I'm not from around here and I'm looking for a lady about your age.  Have you ever heard of a woman named Janie Kuykendall?"

A look of wonder came over her face.  Her eyes brightened and widened, mouth parted as she almost whispered, "that was my maiden name."
Tears filled the man's eyes as he extended his arms.  He said, "Mom."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Missing Link

I have not told the guys at ABftS I was writing this.  If they read it, they may say I'm way off.  So guys and everyone, this is just my thoughts.

When I read The Missing Link I had not read any reviews at  I like A Beer for the Shower so I bought their book and read it.  When I thought about writing this blog about it, I looked up the reviews at amazon.  Several of the reviews talked about an updated Alice in Wonderland.  I don't know about all that.  Here's my take.

I usually do not like fantasy mixed with reality - at all.  I want a story to be all reality or all fantasy.  You might argue The Missing Link is just fantasy in the way Superman or Batman is.  Not for me.

I was dropped into a real world that was quickly descending into chaos.  Civilization was cracking as quickly as a chef can crack a dozen eggs.  The computer guy was going nuts because the internet was down and everyone else in the office wanted him to fix it - fast.  Especially the pretty young thing who had a thing for pornography.  Some of the descriptions here turned me off a bit but it did serve to reinforce the idea that this was reality.  Outside the building other things were happening fast and furious and part of that came crashing into the building as the cool, bad ass, level headed security guard was on his watch.

Then the reason for all the havoc became apparent.  The goblins showed up!  Folks I have "fought" a lot of monsters in RP online games.  Those people go to a lot of trouble creating ugly and scary things for people to hate and fight.  They do an admirable job but they have nothing on these authors.  The goblins come to life immediately and begin chomping with their sharp little teeth and gulping down anything internet related.

Reality to fantasy.  The authors did a fine job with this.  The transition is seamless.  The computer guy is true to life.  I can't say that is completely true of the security guard.  I couldn't really buy into a bad ass guy named Mickey with a billie club named Gladys.  But it is funny.

The action is non stop.  It is not long before you are introduced to a group of homeless people who are extraordinary individuals and one them has an extraordinary dog.  The most impressive of this group is a female McGyver gifted in the art of making whiskey and weapons.

Soon you are introduced to the computer guy's girlfriend who is a gamer.  Unlike many of us who've played games and imagined we were in that world, Molly's dream comes true.  There is an old saying, "be careful of what you wish for, you might just get it."  I don't know if Molly ever wished to be in a fantasy world but she was sucked into this one.  And it was awful!

She began being accosted by various creatures and once again the authors shine.  For me the most memorable of the least memorable group were the bird guys.  Bawk!  "We'll just need your credit card number."

Twiddledum and Twiddledee show up and become Molly's "friends" but they're a lot like some of the "friends" you get on the internet.  The difference is these guys are amusing.  Sir McAffery showed up and did his thing.  He will always be George Bush in my mind.

I can't really talk about the type of humor in the book.  That has never interested me.  If something is funny I don't care what type humor it is.  Also profanity doesn't really bother me.  For me the book was funny, it told a good story and it is very easy to read.  Twiddledum loves this.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Update for page

Folks this is not really a new blog.  I have posted a new page.  It is my first attempt at fiction in over 30 years.  The name of it is Everybody Lies  Enough said.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Guinea Update v2.0

For the last couple of days I've been letting the guineas roam free for awhile in the afternoon.  It is a lot of trouble but I hate seeing animals caged and these guineas are teenagers - so to speak.  And much like teenagers they have become a daily dose of irritation and amusement.

Yesterday I saw them in real flight for the first time.  They flew up in unison.  There was no getting a running start or any of that chicken stuff.  One second they were on the ground, the next airborne!  For me it was spectacular.  The reason for this sudden flight?  They were spooked by a butterfly.

Before I got these fowl, my thinking was they would wander about the yard eating insects, making little guinea noises and generally just be cute and useful.  I could nod proudly when people said things like, "those guineas sure are pretty" and "I bet they eat a lot of bugs."  So far the first one is true and probably the second although I cannot yet verify that.

The trouble is they spend very little time in the yard.  They like the woods.  Yesterday afternoon I got worried about them.  It wasn't really time to bring them inside but it was getting kind of late and I wondered if they were okay.  I found them fairly easily but they were a fair distance from the house.  The ground back there is rough due to several old uprooted trees.  We've had some bad and unusual weather here in the last few years.

I start heading the guineas back to the house.  Soon I realized I should have put on shoes because the guineas decided they wanted to go under every vine and brier along the way.  Here I should interject that I wear shoes only when it is absolutely necessary.  If I get a brier in my foot I just pull it out and limp on; scrap my foot on a stob or sharp rock, no biggie, it's the price for going around without shoes.  So my progress was slow compared to theirs as I had to pick my way carefully as I could.  The guineas would stop anytime I got too far behind them and tarry but I knew that would not last for long.  So I tried to keep up.  They stopped just on the other side of an uprooted tree.  Rather than go around it, I stepped high up on the mound.  The dirt felt kind of soft and as soon as I put my weight on it, whoosh!  I sank to my knee as I fell backward, flat on my back.

A lightning fast thought crossed my mind of what might be hiding down there in the hole so I jerked my foot out immediately.   When I did a pile of dirt came with it, spraying me all the way to my belly.  Oddly enough I was not hurt at all, not even bruised, there were lots of leaves under me and the ground was soft.  It just looked really bad with my head downhill from my body and half of me covered with dirt.  I got up and dusted myself off.  In the most determined voice I could muster I told them, "okay little guineas, we are going home now and no more tricks!

Which we did.

Today though they learned a new trick:

It was only about 4:00 PM when this was taken and the sun doesn't set until around 7:30 PM but they seemed to have settled in.  I was planning on leaving them there for the night but they were just foolin'.  So about seven I rounded them up and they went into their cage.  I didn't bring them inside though.  They're spending the night outside and seem very pleased with that.

Sorry about the quality of the picture.  They are not as big as they appear.  I'm obviously no photographer.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

127 Hours

copyright 08/21/2013

I should have called this 48 hours because that's about the length of time I'm going to cover - my last 48 hours.  But how boring can I get?  So I'm calling it 127 hours.  Much better, don't you think?  Anyway I sort of have a reason for the name.

It began late afternoon, day before yesterday.  I have been taking the guineas outside and putting them in Mr.Buns' old cage.  He was a rabbit.  Enough said about that, for now.  I was just about to bring them inside when the phone rang.  It was the Elder.  He was sitting in traffic in Houston.  We talked about this and that, movies mostly, while he intermittently cursed the traffic until he got home.

Back to the guineas.  I have seen them all my life but never up close and personal.  We didn't have any nor did my family or neighbors.  I had not had these long, maybe at the first sign of feathers, when I realized they were not like chickens.  They were wild.  And these were still little.  I had been taking them outside during the day.  I kept an eye on them because of predators and the cage being somewhat flimsy.  I have a sturdier cage but it is smaller and they can get out of it when the tray is removed.  So I've been putting them in the bigger cage during the day and cleaning the smaller cage.  Then bringing them in at night because I really don't trust even the smaller cage against dogs and coyotes

So I went outside to bring the little darlings in.

The door to cage was open.  The cage was empty.  Gone.  That's all I could think.  All of them.  Gone.

Maybe not.

In the edge of the woods I heard a peep, a chirp, a guinea sound.  Yes!  There were four bunched together and they wanted something.  From their body language, (I know *snicker* please) they weren't at all sure it was me they wanted.  So slowly I began trying to herd them toward the cage thinking any second they would go running, even flying off in four different directions.  But, no worries.  I might as well have put a big sign on the cage in guinea speech saying home.  All they needed was pointing in the right direction.  They showed no desire whatsoever to pass GO and collect two hundred dollars.  They wanted to go directly home.

My search for the remaining eight yielded no clue.  Not a sound could I hear.  No track or blood or feather could I find.

I beat myself up for awhile before deciding shit happens.  I had done the best I could or at least what I truly believed was adequate.  Because these were, after all, animals whose lives were always to be in jeopardy.  There was no safe barnyard with a friendly old dog and a youngster with a shotgun to protect them.  I had them for a purpose and they would have to survive in the wild as was their want.  I couldn't afford to get emotionally attached.

Emotionally attached or not, I went outside a couple times that night but heard nothing.  The next morning...nothing.  Around noon I went outside again to look.  Guineas!  All eight pecking happily in the grass.  Now it would be just a matter of herding them up.  No.  They had gotten a taste of freedom and they were not about to go anywhere near the cage.

About every hour or so I would go out to see how it was going.  And how it was not going good, err well.  The guineas were gone again.  Later in the afternoon though, I heard chirp, chirp, chirp.  It was a lone guinea saying I'm hungry or I want my mama.  Not sure which I still get confused on those two sounds.  Regardless, it did not want to be herded but it did go in the general direction of the cage.  Until it stopped.  It stood there with its feet spaced apart and firmly planted, head raised as if to say, "I won't come to you but I'll allow you to catch me."  I thought, "okay, I've never played this game with my clothes on but I'll give it a shot."  As stealthily as I could, which is not saying a lot, I lunged and grabbed.  Success!  I now had five guineas but neither of the little light gray ones.

It must have been around 5:00 PM when I went out intending for it to be my last trip.  The Younger was coming later, I was cooking supper and he was going to spend the night.

The rest of the guineas were back!  And this time they were wandering toward me!  Incredibly they just came up and walked right into the cage.  As soon as I gave them food I knew why.  Guineas are not entirely stupid.  They know which side of the bread the butter is on.

About 8:00 PM, the Younger came in.
He said, "Dad, I brought us a movie to watch if we don't spend all our time talking.  I have been kind of wanting to see it.  It's a true story.  I know what happens but I like the director.  Since you like true stories so much it would be a good time to watch it if you want."

We ate and talked.  Watched the movie and talked during it because I knew the story too.  It was about the guy was had gone out to propel off a cliff and gotten his arm wedged between a big rock and the opposing rock face.  Shit happens.

We talked mostly about writing and writers.  I had thought Hemingway was a much more admired writer than Fitzgerald.  He said that was probably true at one time but not anymore.  I won't get into that.  He said Hemingway was a minimalist and talked about that for bit.  He told me that once some of the writers had, had a contest to see who could write the shortest story.  Hemingway won.  This is the story he wrote:

For sale baby shoes.  Never worn.

Many things can be deduced from this story and and perhaps none of them are trivial but something happened.  I think Hemingway probably invented the phrase shit happens.

I said, "oh by the way, what is the name of the movie?"
The reply, "127 Hours."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Like me, please.

copyright 08/17/2013

No I'm not talking about those little "like" boxes you see on Facebook and showing up everywhere else now.  Not yet anyway.  I'm talking about things we want.  If  your thinking food, sex, booze,, none of those.

The one thing all of us humans want and I never hear anyone talking about is approval.  Yep, approval.  And it is certainly not the same for people.  I would go so far as to say there are not any two people in this world whose approval needs are the same.  Oops, I said needs, didn't I?  The thing is, theoretically  we don't need approval.  We need food, shelter and clothing.  The trouble is, in our society how we get those three needful things, is approval.  That's the rub.  That's where we have to do a lot of things we really don't want to do.  And most of the time we have to try to get liked before we get approval.  And getting liked is tricky because it is really easy to convince ourselves we like something just because we don't hate it.  And it is even easier if someone says, please!

You are probably thinking I'm putting way too much importance on this like thing.  Oh yeah?  Given a choice between two candidates, how many employers hire the guy they like the least?

This approval thing begins early in life.  Because once we get big enough to realize there is something more to living than our belly and our butt, whether we are too cold or too hot, we want entertainment.  It is not hard to imagine us parents thinking this, "okay kid you can have that toy if you're good and maybe, just maybe you can have it anyway just because I like you."

Al Capone said, "You can get some of what you want with a kind word but you can get more of what you want with a kind word and a gun."  I'm going to paraphrase and apply it this way, "You can get some approval by doing only what you want to do, but you can get a lot more by doing things you don't want to do."  And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out, little kids figure it out.  It is just not conscious in our minds, at least it wasn't in mine until I began thinking about this blog.

Now the question becomes so what?  We have to do things we don't want to do.  That's not news.  Maybe it kind of is.  How many of us have done things we regretted later?  And often it begins with something trivial.  It starts out by clicking like on Facebook or Google+ to some stranger because you don't want to hurt her feelings.  First thing you know you are in a conversation with this person you really don't want to talk to and she is online every time you log in!  And she has friends!  Oh jeez.

But all kinds of things happen.  I decided to begin blogging and thought I would spend maybe an hour or two each day on it.  So I began and nothing happened.  No one read it.  I told myself that didn't matter.  I had begun the blog for several reasons and approval had nothing to do with it.  But it did.  Because why was I  looking at those stats?  We can't get away from that damn approval.  We seek it in about everything we do.

I've spent a couple days working on this thing and at least 50% of the time I thought I would never publish it.  Mainly I kept writing to get a handle on what I was doing as a new blogger.  How had it gotten out of control?  Because it had.  I was spending much more time on it than I had intended and a lot of that time was reading other blogs.  And the reason, honestly, get those stats up!  Of course I did find blogs that I really liked but I found a lot that didn't exactly crank my tractor.  And then I realized that sometimes, approval, as much as we like it, isn't worth the cost and it doesn't matter if it is blogging or some other endeavor.  So how many "like" boxes are checked or how many followers I have is a whole lot like money.  I will never know when I have enough but I will know the cost is too much if I get to thinking like me, please.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What do you think?

I say think and thought a lot.  Too much I know.  Blame Mr. Foster.  He was my 10th grade algebra teacher.  He never talked about thinking but he had, on his cork board, a big poster with one word.  With a blue background and big black letters, it said - THINK.

Truly, by then I didn't need much encouragement.  I had already begun to question some of the things I was brought up to believe.  Sure, Muslims were infidels.  But were Catholics and campbellites* and holy rollers* going to hell too?  Just because they weren't Baptists?  And what about those names?  Wasn't that the same as the jerk who had failed two grades by the 7th and lived just to torment us?  Hey fatty!*  Hey sissy boy!*  I think it was about that time I learned my first curse word - asshole.  But it was awhile yet before I began to think.

It was about the time I saw Mr. Foster's poster.  By then I had become aware of things like segregation and labotomies and hate crimes.  But it really didn't take much thought to hate these things.  Just a little would do.  Because society outside of my little backward part of the world had already begun to grapple with those issues.  So my first thought was that all you need do is accept change as it comes along, just stay current, just stay in

And that was fine for awhile.  But only awhile.  Soon there was this nagging realization that somewhere somebody had to think first - that nothing changed as long as everyone just kept up.  It wasn't good enough.  That society does not lead enlightenment, it follows.

Somebody has to look at integration and think and say that it is not enough.  Somebody has to empathize with the people and groups that suffer the humiliation of degrading names and say that's wrong.  Somebody has to say Muslims are not infidels.

I will throw in one caveat here.  There are some things I doubt I will ever accept.  For example, snake handlers.  I'm sorry folks but I can't wrap my arms around that.

So what is the point?

We have not reached the epitome of human enlightenment and understanding in August of 2013.  I am not sure we have even come close.  And here is the point - just because society deems something acceptable or unacceptable doesn't make it so.  We need to think, to examine our beliefs and not be satisfied to simply stay current.  And folks I may lose some of you here but I have to be honest.  That includes our religious beliefs.  My Father was a fundamentalist Baptist preacher, he practiced what he preached and in many ways he was a wonderful man.  In fact that is what was said at his funeral.  But there are many things he was wrong about and it was not easy coming to terms with that.

*I apologize for the names I've used here.  I felt I had no choice since I needed to establish a base for my argument.  And all of the concepts are things people have heard before.  I needed to refresh people's minds if possible so I decided once again to walk on the razor's edge.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Something Blue

Somewhere out in the blogosphere, there is a blue blogging initiative going on.  Carol suggested I join it so here is my effort.

The first thing that comes to mind is awhile back my elder son gave me some songs, album, re-release or some such that he had bought.  It was songs by Willie Nelson and he wanted me to listen to it.  A few days later he called and asked if I had been listening.  I said I couldn't listen to it, it made me cry.  So he asked what I had been listening to and I told him Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.  He laughed.

It had to be blue eyes crying in the rain, not brown, green or hazel because it is blue we associate with sadness, melancholy, the Blues - and even Fats Domino singing Blue Monday - for crying out loud.

So why with all this blue, depressing stuff would Elvis care a whit about his shoes?  He did though and a lot as he warned his honey, "don't you step on my Blue Suede Shoes."  Apparently he set a great store by those shoes.  I'm guessing it is because blue is also the color we associate with calm and serenity and even safety.  So maybe those shoes were like a baby's security blanket.  Oh and by the way, I guess you can get your very own pair for as low as $38.99 if the ads are to be believed.

This is probably enough about songs but there's one more - Crystal Blue Persuasion - which was a huge hit and quite controversial as many people thought it was about crystal meth.  I'm not sure it was blue but it certainly is on that show we all love for no good reason, Breaking Bad.

There are blue babies.  So called because they look blue and their story before the advent of modern heart surgery was blue indeed - heart breaking to their parents.  HBO made an absolutely wonderful movie about how that surgery came to be and it is called Something the Lord Made.

There is Blueberry pie which is pretty wonderful as is Blackberry Pie which is also blue and wonderful.

Lest we forget, a bride needs to carry a few items with her to the wedding - something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

And finally our national flag - The Old Red, White and Blue.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

This Wonderful World

You sometimes hear people say what a wonderful world God or Nature has created for us to live in.  This never fails to irritate me.  Maybe they are talking about beautiful.  I'll buy that.  I can appreciate beauty.  I'm no oaf.  I think trees and rocks and water and the sky...okay, you get what I'm saying - they're beautiful.

But wonderful?  I dunno, that's a whole other can of worms.  And how do you feel about those?  Or gnats, chiggers, fleas - the list is endless.  The weather is not wonderful.  Quite often it is not even nice.  My air conditioner is running right now.  And Leo would probably be inside stretched out cooling off but I guess he's out answering the call of nature to try and produce more of his kind.

Because that's the thing you know.  That's what got all these creatures and us here struggling to survive and get along in this "wonderful" world.  And it is one of the things that makes it not so wonderful.  Our lives are filled with decisions and way too often none of the choices suit us.

Yes, I'm aware I'm rambling.  I tried to write down my ideas serious and proper like but I got bored.  Bored, bored, bored.  So I'm having fun now and if you hate this, it's okay, just go to the next guy or gal's blog and really, I'll be serious here, I'm sorry I wasted your time.

This is the point I was going to make.  This is not a wonderful world and I have proof!

There is a TV show on Discovery channel called Naked and Afraid.  They drop off two people in the wilderness completely naked.  I think what they get in the way of survival items varies but it is always almost nothing.  Maybe flint and some kind of blade.  I haven't seen the show yet; my elder son was telling me about it.  At some point I will watch it but don't need to as far affecting my view of the world.

And that view is - this world would just suck big time for us humans were it not for the many, many, many wonderful human beings who have made this beautiful world a place where we can actually live comfortably and be happy.  If I could I would buy 'em all a drink and say, "fellow human beings, you did good, real good!"

While I'm on the subject, humans are not done with doing good.  Nature did not create the best.  In many cases it only created what was barely good enough to survive.  When it comes to creating things, man can and has done better and will likely continue to do so in the future.

One more thing I want to say before I wrap this up.  Man has made his share of mistakes.  Our natural environment has suffered tremendously in some cases because of it.  I do what I can to insure I leave as small a footprint as possible.  But I won't throw the baby out with the bath water.  I love all my stuff and I hope I'm never naked and afraid.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Boss

A couple of weeks ago I finished reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.  My memory, as I've stated on several occasions is not perfect so some of this may not be exactly as it happened in the book.

Some people say the book is a satire on English royalty.  Some say it is a satire on Yankee ingenuity.  I think it is neither.  The thing about Twain's portrayal of 6th century English royalty is it is just handy as a pocket to illustrate how power and greed can obliterate any feeling for humanity.  All that ensues about Yankee ingenuity seems to say a lot more about humanity's reluctance to accept new technology than a satire about its failures.  But all that could be argued, and by people much better educated and much smarter than I am.

What I am going to do is relate some of the events that happened when the Yankee, from now on referred to as the "Boss" visited Arthur's sister, Morgan Le Fay.

First let me say that either I can't remember or it was never explained why everyone called the Yankee the Boss but he had impressed Arthur tremendously and so was given a wide range of political power.  The Boss had two goals.  One was to introduce 19th century technology to 6th century England.  The second was to eventually eliminate (upon Arthur's death) their system of government including the royals - I think especially the royals - and institute a republic.

I won't try to mimic Mark Twain's prose.  Forsooth, it would be impossible for me to do that.

There was royal banquet held at Mrs. Le Fay's castle.  During which the band performed "In the Sweet Bye and Bye."  The Boss described this as a horror.  Mrs. Le Fay agreed that it was and decreed that all the band should be hanged.  The Boss thought this punishment was harsh and protested but other events gave him pause.

He wanted to see the dungeon.  There a young man was being tortured on the rack while his wife, holding their young child, cried piteously.  The man was accused of killing a deer and was being tortured to make him confess.  Mrs. Le Fay could have him killed for no other reason than it suited her fancy.  But the accusation of killing a deer and the fact he was found near the deer's body was more than sufficient justification.  In the Boss's mind, it wasn't so much that the man was going to die for his alleged crime but why was he being tortured?  Witnessing the young man's slow and painful demise while listening to the young wife's pitiful cries was more than the Boss could bear.  He implored the young man to confess.

Eventually he gained the young man's confidence and learned that he had killed the deer.  It had been eating his crops.  However, he could not confess publicly.  By law his confession would give Mrs. Le Fay the right to take his land leaving his young wife and child penniless.

The Boss was sympathetic to the young man.  He struck a deal with Mrs. Le Fay.  She agreed after some haggling.  The decision was this.  The young man would go free.  The band would be hanged.  The Boss would get together a new band.  He made the executioner the new band leader.  When the executioner protested saying he didn't know how to play a musical instrument, the Boss replied that was an insufficient reason since no one in the kingdom knew how to play a musical instrument.

For me this book was emotionally disturbing but then I can't watch a horror movie without being horrified.  Still, at times it made me laugh.  I can't say I loved it but I can't say I regret reading it.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Guinea Update v1.0

Since some of y'all might want to see and hear how the guineas are doing, here's a picture made this morning.

Some are still camera shy!

All are doing fine.  They peck constantly, too often on the side of box and loud enough I sometimes think there's someone at the door.  Lately, the only time they are totally quiet is when they're asleep.  I've been taking them outside every day lately and putting them in a box with the bottom out.  From the moment their feet touch the ground they begin pecking and scratching the earth.  I think the days of the insects having their way around here are few.

I've been putting cat litter and shredded paper in the bottom of the box that I keep them in when inside.  While they are outside I change this out.  So far this has worked fine.  I'm not sure how long this will work but I'm taking Scarlett Ohara's view on what comes next - "I'll think about that tomorrow."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Dog Needs a Bun!

Since I google everything now I thought, "why not look and see if there's any real reason why hot dogs come 10 to a pack and buns only 8."  I got lots of hits but no reasons, just some semi snarky answers.

Even though this mismatch has been a fact of life for a long time, that is no reason for us consumers to put up with it any longer.  Sure I know it is no big deal.  Everyone gets the munchies and grabbing a raw dog and wolfing it down...well, there's no bun anyway so why let it lay there in the fridge?  It is just begging to be eaten.

The thing is we really would like to have 10 buns but we make do.  We can't do this anymore because, folks, it is a slippery slope!  Next thing you know, they'll be making gloves with nine fingers.  How do I know this?  I've been listening to the voices in my head!  And they tell me that Corporate America is an expert advertiser.  He will say the next great thing is NineFinger gloves!  And start going on about how great it would be to have your index finger free.  He'll say, "think of the things you can do with that free finger."  Why, you could even pick your nose if you wanted!

You might be wondering why Corporate America would choose booger picking as an advertising gimmick over say, tick picking or some other thing.  The voices in my head (sorry, Andrew) explained this to me.  It is not enough for American industry to save material.  The real money is in a new product.  They have invented the Booger Bag which they will make out of the unused finger material.  Yes they will need a bit more material but they can kill naugas* for that.

You get a big old itchy booger and you simply can't wait until you get to a restroom?  No problem!  Just extract said booger and deposit in the Booger Bag.  "Ewww," you say, "that booger bag would get nasty."  Precisely and here is the beauty of the plan.  Not only will Corporate America sell you a pair of gloves and a booger bag, they will also sell you Booger Bag inserts!  And wet wipes to tidy up with!  Money, money, money!  Folks it is virtually a gold mine.

See?  See what can happen from slippery slopeness?  I urge you to put those buns back on the shelf and JUST SAY NO!

*where naugahide comes from

Monday, July 29, 2013

Stuff About Chickens

In my previous blog I mentioned that I was something of an expert on how baby chicks look.  Not only that but stated it was a story for another day.  It's another day.

When my wife and I were very young, there were few good jobs in this area.  Broiler houses - buildings designed and built specifically to raise broiler chickens - became a popular way for people in rural areas to earn extra money.  When I say designed I'm not talking about some high falutin, engineered building.  It was simply a narrow, long building anywhere between 200 and 500 feet in length with a tin roof and tin on the each side about half way up.  The rest of the wall was covered with chicken wire and had "curtains" that rolled up and down.  You can imagine these curtains, which were winched up and down, were a pain.  They would sag, the cable would break, it was always something...

Because, of course you had to always worry about adjusting the curtains once the chicks began to grow.  Rain, heat, cold, too much ammonia buildup (yes, all that poop generated lots of ammonia), required an adjustment in curtain height.

We had two chicken houses and a batch of baby chicks was 28,000.  For the first few days, even in Summer you had to have the gas brooders (large heating disks) on.  It was a sight to see though.  Looking down a 400 foot long house, it looked like a sea of furry yellow mats undulating softly.

Unfortunately, there was not a lot of time to get all poetic and artsy.  There was work to be done.  Feeding and watering 28,000 chicks is a job!  Also you had the unpleasant task of picking up the dead, killing the ones with deformed beaks, extra legs, etc, (sorry if this is grossing some of you out - wasn't sure how much detail to include).

But soon the chicks were big enough to eat and drink from the automatic equipment and life got much easier.  At about 4 weeks you began seeing victims of heart attack which everyone said was a good sign.  I never made the correlation in pay but I'll have to tell the truth here and say I was no great shakes as a chicken farmer.  It was a hard truth to face but I've learned to cope with being a failure at some endeavors.

At various times the chicken doctor would show up and bitch.  I hadn't put enough saw dust down before the chicks were delivered.  Now he tells me!  The chickens were too hot or the chickens were too cold or they were sick.  Anything else Doc?  Should I move my bed out here?

At seven to eight weeks, the chicken doctor would notify us when the chickens were to be caught.  Thank God!  At least we had no part in this other than raising all of the equipment in the houses.  Big trucks and a fork lift and the chicken catchers would show up.

I have a cousin who grew up in town.  Whenever he visited my Grandmother's house, he would chase her chickens, much to Grandma's chagrin.   This went on for quite sometime and even though he got some spankings (I think) for it, he didn't stop until he was older.  But even he did not grow up to become a chicken catcher.  Study diligently children.  There are some hideous jobs in this world.

In a couple weeks we would get a check along with a list of 20 growers and our rating.  Number 13 - wow!  Not bad and at least we weren't in the last four.  That meant you were probably on the elimination list...

After a couple years I got a job that paid decent money and we got out of that fowl business.  There's a saying...what goes around comes around...I was never sure exactly what that meant but what the heck are those fowl doing downstairs?

Friday, July 26, 2013

chirp, chirp, chirp

NOTE:  I have published a new page on my Junk Drawer blog.  It's an old joke in case you want to check it out.

I've been listening to this for awhile now.  Thought I would share.

Actually this was yesterday and they chirped, or at least one did, for maybe 3 to 4 hours.  Since then it's been sounds reminding me of those that adult guineas make but in baby form.  Very soft...peep, peep, peep, similar to baby chicks.

That's right.  I'm the proud owner of twelve, two day old guineas.  They look older, don't they?  Maybe not if you've never seen two day old baby chicks.  I might be kind of an expert but that's a story for another day.  Maybe the reason these keets look more mature than chicks is they actually did mature more before hatching.  Since they are way better at survival in adverse environments than chickens it would make sense.  Of course this is pure speculation.  Maybe I'll look it up.  Sometime.

Leo and I have a difference of opinion about the keets.  I think they look cute.  He thinks they look delicious!

Okay, I'm exaggerating.  After his initial curiosity, incredibly Leo has left them alone.  I am not confident this is a pattern of behavior I can depend on so I'm taking as few chances as possible.

In case you are wondering how I came by these little cuties...well you remember I wanted to get my old piano tuned.  No?  Well, I did.  I found a guy using Google.  When I called him he said he lived near Phil Campbell as well.  What luck!

He had only been here a few minutes when he said, "you know me."  I didn't.  But he continued, "I've eaten dinner at your Mother's house many 'a time."  Then it hit me, he was the pastor of my Mom's church years ago.  I remembered her mentioning him several times.  This led to much more talk when he took a break.  He told me about my Mom always making two pumpkin pies, one she served for dinner and one she would send home with him.

Leo had been stretched out on the couch asleep all this time.  I mentioned that I had just gotten flea medication for him and he was really resting for the first time in a couple weeks.  I also told him about my fruitless search for guineas on craigslist...that "Ricky" from Corinth was supposed to call when he had some more hatch.  Yes, Ricky eventually returned my call.  He did not however, ever call and say he had guineas for me.

At this point the Preacher said, "oh, I can sell you some guineas.  But if you want baby guineas you will have to wait until some hatch."  I waited and as you can clearly see, the Preacher is as good as his word.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Just Blame Me

This morning, quite a bit before dawn, it rained again.  Actually it was almost a storm with distant lightning and thunder.  Leo and I had slept all night.  I think it has helped both of us that once again he's stopped crawling up beside me on the couch* and sleeping.  He's back to sleeping in my chair at the dining room table.

I'm not sure why he's stopped sleeping beside me on the couch.  I suspect it is because he saw me taking vitamins and mistook that for flea pills.  Likely, assuming he has me infected, his job is done.  The joke's on him.  I'm still flea free.

Anyway I woke up totally rested and ready to make myself a more sane and interesting person.  Lots of luck with that I say to myself as distant lightning lit up the sky.  Thunder, wind and rain followed, severe enough that I cut most electrical things off.  Including, if unintentional, my brain.  Leo had seemed in no hurry to go outside until he heard the thunder and rain.  At that point knowing he couldn't, he stood at the door and meow'd to get outside.  At the risk of bodily injury, I opened the door to show him what frightful things Mother Nature was doing.  He stood there for a moment, turned his head toward me and meow'd loudly as if to say, "why are you doing this again?"

I get blamed for everything.  The weather, the fleas, the ticks and today boredom, because he can't go outside.  And it is not just Leo, the kids do it too.  And the relatives!  Well, some of 'em.

I'm fed up!  For the rest of this month, at every opportunity, I'm going to launch a tirade about assigning blame and fault.  I might have tee shirts printed up saying "NO, I did not cause your [insert problem].

*Yes I do have beds which are sleep capable.  My use for them is limited to dying and, as Adrian put it in a comment, carnal frolic.  Since I've grown weary lately of chasing frolicky women and show no signs of impending death I have little use for the beds.
For those people who are hygienically sensitive, I do put sheets on the couch and change them regularly.

Monday, July 22, 2013

In the Air Tonight

John 3:19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light."  It wasn't talking about me.  I always sleep with a light on somewhere in the house.

And I was asleep.  I was until consciousness as quietly and gently as my cat follows my steps, entered and  chased away sleep.  I had no idea if it was night or day.  Through the slats of the Venetian blinds something shone faintly and coolly to my eyes, blinking as I inclined my head slightly from side to side whilst trying to decide if it was the sun or the moon.  It was night I decided as all around that light was darkness.

I could have closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep.  I did not.  I did not because there were many, many years where I had to do that.  I had to work the next day.  Not anymore.  Tonight I can get up and enjoy being alive.  It has been raining and the crickets roar has lulled.  It seems a perfect background to Phil Collins singing "In the Air Tonight."

Son number 2, that means second born because I have no other way to differentiate, is coming tomorrow.  Today now, just much later.  He loves stew - tomato based stew - and I'll start that and maybe I will play the piano and maybe I will write.  Also I will do some bad things.  I will make a pot of coffee and drink the whole pot.  I'll  listen to the crickets with one ear and Phil Collins with the other and smoke half a pack of cigarettes.  But tonight I'll feel  happy - deep down, pure joy to be alive.  And there is one thing I will not do.  That is the last part of John 3:19, "for their deeds were evil."  I won't do any of that.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Bloggers

I can't get poems out of my head.  A Beer for the Shower didn't help with the terrific blog they did on poetry.  So here is my latest effort based on my links page.

All you really need if you're stinky and out of power
is a lesson on "how to" at A Beer for the Shower

A Hippo on the Lawn will tell you a story
of real true things or a pirate's glory

Adrian makes pictures that's a sight to see
you'll exclaim with wonder and awe and glee

It's books and movies and words all about
where Alex J. Cavanaugh talks and hangs out

I'm not really sure where Carol in Cairns
got the name of her blog, I'll be darns
(sorry I wanted to be sure and make A Beer for the Shower's crappy poets list)

Death, despair and biscuits is Waffle's stock in trade
but laugh you will 'cause it's merely a charade

a religion or philosophy called Brutalism
I dunno Brute, I'll just call it a schism

Demob happy teacher is from North Wales
and documents her life from whence she hails

Dirt Therapy will show you pictures of roses and such
And tell how to grow them, if you want to work that much

Rightly so, Madame Weebles is proud of herself
and she'll tell you so beginning with the letter F

Most of year he's surrounded by ice
but Genial Misanthrope is warm and he's nice

L A Coch-ran has a witty satiric edge
into her bloggery she's managed this wedge

A letter from Joshua makes you think he could
be a nerd but nah, he's just misunderstood

Life by chocolate is Robyn's creed
definitely one, most of us can heed

Cro Magnon I hear, you've been buckle swashing
'a wasting time when veggies need washing

My Word 1 is where ZACL talks
about the things when she takes walks

The queen of satire is Pickleope
all subjects are within her scope

Point Counter-Point Point Point, oh dear
to rhyme with this causes fear, fear, fear

Mighty Rassles, my brain is fried
it's shorted out, it's been electrified

Sarcastic ninja, Art Review Fun Time
snarky words, no need to rhyme

StrangePegs, I don't get that name
It's sense you make, just the same

The Crow is flying in a cloudy sky
but her words are clear as she passes by

Gorilla Bananas is his name
but the japing ape is his game

Such a good thing Molly Bawn can write
makes us feel good and bring new insight

At the Owl Wood Ian must keep his teapot brewing
new words and thoughts, 'cause ordinary he's eschewing

This one was really hard Daisy Fae
a Trailer Park Refugee, I lost my way

troutbirder is a favorite of nature and man
all he touches is blessed by his hand

There's a lot of stuff under the Tiki Hut
of this I can assure you, there's never a nut

Yorkshire Pudding is wonderful in many ways
his wit and kindness and intelligence have been mainstays

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I have not run out of things to talk about.  I needed to make a change in the way I've been doing my links.  I didn't like the way it worked at all.  One reason was that the link did not open in a new window which meant several clicks getting back to my blog or waiting for it to reload in order to click on the next link.  Also I could see that shortly I would not have enough room for all the blogs I follow.  I've created another blog for that.  It is called The Junk Drawer.  The blog will explain the name.

The second thing I want to mention is the fact that whenever I look at my audience by country, Russia is number 2 in viewers.  This has been true from the first few days I began blogging.  I have yet to see any comments by my Russian audience.  I want say I welcome your comments as much as I do others.  If you are concerned that your English is poor, do not worry.  It only matters if I can understand what you mean.  No matter how bad your English is, it is far better than my Russian since I speak not a word of your language.  This is something I regret.  I would have loved to read "War and Peace" in Russian.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Everybody's Beautiful In Their Own Way

Sometime ago I discovered Ian Hutson's blog.  I wasn't so overly impressed with the one on that first day - it was about some old house I couldn't relate to.   But then I happened to read his instructions on commenting on his blog.  I knew then I liked this Englishman.  His later blogs proved my instincts right.  He touched that part of my mind that is often hidden and hard to reach - that part that holds all wonderful and fanciful and fantasy things...and Hobbits

He didn't talk about Hobbits per se but rather just talked in a Hobbitty way.  Instead he called me Grasshopper and talked about strange creatures and their habits.  He disparaged the use of the word "with" in favor of "wiv," which I'm sure he picked up from conversing with the Hobbits.    So now I, Grasshopper, will get on wiv it.

I thought about chubby little guys with big furry feet, wearing big red hats and jolly as can be.  I saw them running  in meadows seeking berries and all such as nature provides.  And eating six meals a day as their minimum fare.  And afterwards, when pleasantly full, they'd push back those big brimmed hats and light their corn cob pipes and tell tales of adventure.

And just what am I getting at here?  Madame Weebles has written a blog about people being mean and ugly.  Never mind the reason.  Read her blog if you want to know.  There's always an excuse for people being ugly and some excuse beats none.  I guess.

All of this - fantasy and Hobbits and people looking different from each other - has got me to thinking about people accepting others.  If you let your mind wander a bit and imagine what it could be like sometime in the future, we are hardly different at all.  For someday some of us will be Hobbits and others will choose other forms.

Date:  June 15, 3715
The Human Reform Clinic, Gene Reconstruction Division, Human Form Section, Human Cat Form Unit
Name:  Inkoderp  1123
Justification (In as few words as possible, tell us why you want to change your human form into our human/cat prototype.)

I am now a little over 533 years old.  I have explored the range of human emotion such as there is to explore.  I am beautiful, all my friends are beautiful, all their friends are beautiful.  Damn it!  Even my enemies are beautiful.  My every human need is provided for with inconsequential effort.  My entertainment is satisfying and absorbing but I'm missing something in my life.  I yearn to know, to understand in some small way what the old ones lived with every day of their lives.

I want to look different from everyone else and not a different version of pretty - really different.  I want to know what hunger is and have to worry about my safety.

I need this HumanCatForm because I will to travel to one of the distant planets where ancient and vicious creatures still live.  To arrive there in human form I would either die or be forced to use weapons and tech that would make it no challenge.  In cat form, my speed and strength and agility will allow me to hunt for food and search the vegetation in a most challenging way.  I will fight and survive or I will die but I will know what it is to live again.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I scan the fridge and then I sigh
once again, groceries I must buy
Seems every time I turn around
off to the Piggly Wiggly I am bound

A list is what I must do first
shopping without it is the worst
But what order shall I make the list
by market aisle, no I can't do this

Because what was on aisle number three
when last I searched and I did see
Has likely been moved to some other aisle
or maybe just dumped in a corner pile

So I should I list my stuff by priority
chow for the cat and coffee for me
Those two things, I can't be without
because the cat will meow and I will pout

There must be something I want to eat
I'm tired of chicken and mystery meat
Maybe a steak would be real fine
To heck with my arteries, on steak I'll dine

I'll just get lots of fruit and such
my heart will thank me ever so much
until the fruit rots in the refrigerator
'cause I always say, I'll eat it later

I hate buying groceries, this is true
making a list and seeing it through
Maybe tomorrow will be soon enough
I'll wait 'til then, even if it's tough

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dirty Words

Usually when I get an idea for a blog, the words just flow.  If it's a struggle, I dump it and forget it.  That's what I intended to do with this blog about profanity.  The trouble is the idea kept nagging at me but I couldn't tie it down to anything manageable.  Whenever I thought about ugly words and dirty words my mind ran off in a hundred different directions.  Most of those ended up with the word sin and I did not want to go there.  Because well, I don't know.  Truthfully, I've given up trying to figure out what is and is not sinful.  Heck, I don't even know if sin city is sinful.  I do know the Bible says, "he that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is a sin."  That's good enough for me and I'll stick with that scripture.

But what about hurting others?  Everything from violence to just making fun of someone and hurting their feelings.  Surely that is a sin.  In my mind it is something worse.  It is evil.

So what about profanity?  Where does it fit?  What we think of as ugly and dirty words can and do hurt people's feelings and embarrass them.  But profane words are powerful.  They invoke an emotional response.  And that is what we writers need - that is what we crave.  Otherwise, neither we nor our reader is emotionally invested.  We might as well be writing a tech manual using dry and tasteless words.  There are some other tools at our disposal like description and imagery.  And when we can lift those pristine images from our muddy brains, it is a happy day.  But that creative process is far too rare to employ every time we write.  And sometimes even that is not adequate because there is another aspect to profanity.  Not only does it invoke an emotional response, it sets a mood and can be many things - frustration, rebellion, defiance, contempt - powerful feelings all and often
enough a combination of these.

Writers are left with a choice and I think this quote from "The Razor's Edge" applies.  "The path of a righteous man is hard and more difficult to walk than a razor's edge."  And that is what we want to be - righteous - but not in a religious sense.  Rather, in the way Google defines the word - morally right or justifiable.  So we have to flirt with danger.  We have to walk the razor's edge and hope we're right, justifiable at least, and maybe on some rare occasions even righteous.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I can't do craigslist

first son:  Dad, what's wrong with Leo?
me:  *shrug*
first son:  He looks awful.  Take him to the vet!
me:  I can't take him to the vet.  You know how much he hates cars.  Last year I did go to the vet and brought home Frontline which cost more than $20 for one month.  The results:

  • Leo hated it.
  • He immediately began licking it off which means he probably ingested way more than got to any ticks or fleas.
  • It didn't help much.

I guess it is fine for people who live in town or places where the land is being tilled, etc.  Here it seems about as useful as an eye dropper to irrigate the desert.  Still I applied it as directed for three months.  After that, Leo not only knew what the little tube was but he could smell it when I clipped the top.  And he was having none of it anymore.
first son:  So get some guineas?
me:  yes.

Enter craigslist:  gu - gun, no.  gun - guns, no.  guin - guinea...guineas, yes!


Hi folks,
I want to buy 6 to 10 of your baby guineas.  I live in the woods and the ticks and fleas are about to eat my cat up.  It is only a matter of time until they come after me.  I have been to Summertown but its been a long time.  However, I'm sure I can find your place if you e-mail me either directions or an address.

no response.

phone (different seller)
ring, ring, ring......ring, ring, ring.  Leave message...."Ricky, leave message."
Hello Ricky, this is David Oliver.  I'm calling about the baby guineas.  Sorry I can't remember my cell phone
number.  I think the only people who have it are solicitors (thank you Verizon), who want to sell me everything except guineas.  I prefer email.  My address is blah, blah, blah.

no response.

My new tactic is this:  The pity email and we'll see how it works.

Dear Guinea Keeper,
My cat looks like he's just went through the barber line at an army induction center.  He got the barber with the missing teeth both in his mouth and the clippers.  I'm sure I'll be next.  It will be hard to tell us apart fur wise.  Both Leo (my cat) and I have agreed to sacrifice in order to pay a premium for the guineas.  Leo is going to do without his yummy canned cat food.  I've agreed to stop renting x...oops, PG rated films.  I believe you can look far and wide and not find anyone more deserving of these rare birds than yours truly.

If that doesn't work, I'll try this:

Dear Guinea Possessor,
My wealthy uncle has repented.  Having gained all his wealth by killing every living thing on his farm to sell the coal off of it, the guilt over his part in global warming has overwhelmed him.  He's decided to give all his wealth to the poor - me - and take up his cross and follow Jesus.  I would like to follow suit but I still have wild oats in my bag.  Yes I'm 65 and I need to get busy sowing but in my defense it was a big bag.  Anyway, what I'm wanting right now is a tree house and a mob of guineas.  I'm still looking for the Wood Elves about the house but hopefully I've found my guineas.  Please reply.  I'll make it worth your while as I'm just sitting here on a pile of money.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Seeker

A few days ago, Carol in Cairns, posted this from Socrates:

The secret of not found in seeking more,
but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.

Carol has moved on and so has apparently everyone else except me.  As I am often want to do, I'm lagging around, pondering details.  I would like to talk to the old codger but that's not possible for me.  Maybe I can ask Madame Weebles to do it...

At any rate, what did he stop seeking?  And really, this is directly contradictory to another admonishment, "seek and ye shall find."  To seek or not to seek, that is the question.  I've decided this all has to do with Wal-Mart.

One of my nephews is extremely retarded and most of the time you can't understand anything he says.  You can understand when he says "goto Wal-Mart."  If you ask, "Lindberg, why do you want to go to Wal-Mart, he'll say, "see what they got."

Now I have thought at various times they don't have boxes of happiness at Wal-Mart.  Yes, I've looked.  Arguably, they have though because I found a box of Whitman's chocolates.  I have never seen anyone eat chocolate and cry at the same time.  Maybe this is possible but I've never seen it.  We could ask Robyn.

After an exhaustive search in the store and seeing what Lindberg found on several occasions, I've come to some conclusions:

1.  Yes Wal-Mart does indeed have boxes of happiness.
2.  Eventually you'll get unhappy though because they won't have anything new.
3.  You can eat only so much chocolate.  RE:  Robyn to see it this statement is true.
4.  No matter how much you plead with the manager to get new stuff, new flavors and new toys, she will say she can't.
5.  Too much seeking will turn you into a Seeker and you won't have time for anything else.

So now back to Socrates' statement.  Just maybe how Socrates would have said it nowadays is stop thinking "I want" and instead think, "I have."

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The 4th

It is just passed midnight so it is officially the 4th.  Seems all the world is asleep except me and it's probably a
good thing I don't have any fireworks.  I would probably go outside and set 'em off.  When people began rushing up in their pajamas and my phone began ringing, I guess I could just shrug and like Geraldine and say, "the devil made me do it!"

Oops, that's more looney bin ammo so I should scratch that idea for any future events.  Still, it would be fun.

Instead of shooting off fireworks, I've decided to think about why we went to war.  We learned in school it was because the British had done this or that.  This is just silly and I no longer believe a word of it.  Men don't go to war over tea or taxes or even tobacco and heaven knows - unfortunately - I love that stuff.  For many years men here had lived in little towns far away from government control.  They had lived in the wilderness where government control was essentially not possible.  Our forefathers had gotten a taste of freedom and it tasted good.  Real good!

They began to dream and men with eloquent words gave voice to those dreams.  A movement began that was so powerful men freely entered into a life and death struggle against a force they could not possibly hope to defeat.  But they hoped anyway because this freedom, this idea to live as they pleased, was to die for!

So tonight and tomorrow I don't need fireworks to celebrate the 4th.  I will silently think about all those men and women, heroes and heroines, who took up arms or supported those who did and gave us a legacy that eventually spread throughout the world.

Happy 4th to all of you!

When Things Go Wrong

You push open the door to the men's restroom and you're greeted with the smell of urine.  You step inside and it's damp.  For many years I was under the impression that public restrooms were generally unfit places for human beings without head to toe protective clothing.  Eventually I found out it is not all public restrooms.  It is the men's.  Why?  Because most of us had women cleaning up after us for the first 18 years of life.  And, we have special needs!  Even after years of practice, we can't always pee in a straight line.  Yeah, we practiced hitting our mothers in the face for a few months early on.  But every so often, there we go and pee off to the left or the right.  The worst is when we get the two directional or God forbid, the three directional pee.  I think it's nature's way of reminding us that things can go awry.  Sometimes terribly so.  It doesn't matter how much experience we have or how confident we are in our ability, sometimes things go wrong.

There is a lesson and it is this -  be prepared.  Yeah I used the Boy Scout's motto.  It's okay, they can sue me and lots of luck with that.  The trouble with being prepared is it often makes us feel like wimps.  Like sitting on the toilet to pee.  Dammit, we are men after all and we don't squat to pee.

So being prepared is not always a solution we can live with.  But having to tolerate a stinky toilet is not fun time either.  Neither is coming into work and having to deal with a problem someone else made.  So guys if you can't live with being prepared and avoiding a problem, be a man a fix the damage.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tweety the Tweeter

I was bored, okay?

So I've been told twitters don't twit, they tweet
And the sweeter the twitter, the sweeter the tweet,
But what of the poor parakeet?
Here's Tweety all 'a twitter to tweet
But he's a twit 'cause he can't treat
his listeners with tweets ever so sweet

No worries is all I can say to the bird
There's other ways to be heard
There's bloggers blogging and talkers talking
talking heads and squawkers squawking
So raise your voice and throw a vibe
Someone might just listen to your aside.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thoughts, Stories and Other Stuff

Originally I had listed all my reasons for blogging.  It seemed important at the time.  But like a lot of things, time gives clarity so I've decided to dispense with that and get to the real stuff.  That said, I still want to list the reasons so I'm moving them to the bottom of this page.

Organization is as follows:
paragraph or less (listed below)
more than a paragraph (pages)
my other blogs

Thursday, June 27, 2013
Last week at the Tiki Hut, Carol posted her Friday's Top 10 things she most often ran out of.  Here is my Top 10.  Please don't come and get me NSA.  I'm building a bomb that will blast me into the future.  I think I will like it there.

10.  fertilizer
9.   gasoline
8.   detonators
7.   pipes
6.   scraps of metal
5.   drums
4.   dynamite
3.   blasting caps
2.   chants

And the number 1 thing I run out of most often?
1.  Mental Health Facilities.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
No idea where Edward Snowden is now.  I don't really keep up.  I know why he left China.  A Spartacus moment would have been hard to pull off there.  He should stay in Russia.  With funny little glasses, a dull razor and a heavy coat of PreparationH applied to the face of voluteer Russians, many could pass.  Of course other strategies could be employed in Ecuador.  I don't mean this as a put down of Snowden.  I suspect his motives were not as pure as the driven snow but who among us wants to be spied on?

Sunday, June 23, 2013
As goatherd learns by goat, so writer learns by wrote.  This is not the exact quote from John Muir but it is close.  I got to thinking about this quote today when I saw the word used in a blog I was reading.  If any of you have experience with goats, you know there are few places they won't try to investigate and very few things they won't try to eat.  I've seen them on tops of buildings and gnawing at tin cans.  This is a lot like us bloggers.  We don't graze in fenced in pastures but instead tackle the vines and briers on the fence row and all along the roadway.  We make all kinds of mistakes.  Why shouldn't we?  Trying to get at the tender green shoots of vines and briers is a tricky business.

Friday, June 21, 2013
Superman is who I aspire to be; Clark Kent is who I fear I am.  Really though, I just want to fly.  I don't care so much about fighting super villains.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
If you don't want to be disappointed in what people do, then don't trust your feelings, trust their actions.

Sunday, June 2, 2013
I guess everyone's mind is like this - endlessly wandering - touching on the trivial, the mundane and the profound and giving equal time to each.  Okay, not everyone's mind, this is how mine works, I have no idea how yours works.  Anyway for some reason, maybe because of the blogs I read today, I was thinking about funny epitaphs and it occurred to me that I actually knew a Lester Moore.  He was good guy.  I should look up his tombstone and see what it says.  I'm pretty sure it won't say - no les, no moore.

Saturday, June 1, 2013
It rained today.  I like when it rains - very beautiful, it varnishes the world.  Also, fun to play in, more so if you can go barefoot.  However, Leo hates it.  I opened the door to let him out, he stepped out, whined, turned around and came back in.  This process was repeated several times.  Before long the rain slacked enough for him to venture out onto the deck and into the yard.  I watched.  He only went far enough to go potty.  Then he wanted back in.  Since I moved the litter box into the bathroom he won't use it anymore.  No idea what's up with that.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Attempting to do anything when you are exhausted, other than watch TV, is doomed - maybe not to failure but at least mediocrity.  It is a good time though to watch that thing (e.g. The Artist), you've been putting off.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I saw a friend today in the grocery store today.  I had not seen her in quite awhile and as we caught up she asked if I'm still single.  When I said yes, that I didn't think I would ever marry again, she said if something happened to her marriage she wouldn't either.  This is far from the first married person, male or female who has told me that.  I wonder if marriage is really an unnatural state for humans?  Perhaps "unnatural" is not a well chosen word but it will suffice.  We humans get bored even with the people we love.  It might take a long time but we do get bored and a lifetime is a long time.

Saturday, May 25, 2013
Unquestionably, Jeff Probst is a great host for Survivor.  Speaking of which, sometimes I love it, sometimes hate it and sometimes don't bother watching.  There is a terrific podcast interview with Probst by one of those podcast guys (ask in comments and I'll look it up).  It is what prompted me to watch Probst's day time show.  The show was filled with trivialities and the problem is his trivialities are not my trivialities.  He seems never at a loss for something to say but as a TV host, he's a one trick pony.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
As I was listening to Alison Krauss sing "I'll Fly Away," my thinking was when I fly away, it will be on a winged horse - possibly bio-engineered, possibly robotic, but a winged horse nevertheless.

Thursday, May 23, 2013
I read somewhere, think it was Ben Best's site, that once man has conquered aging, the median life span is expected to be 25,000 years.  Judging by my current progress in Blender that won't be long enough.

I like writing.

Several years ago I became interested in genealogy and put quite a lot of time and effort into it before my interest waned.  The reason I lost interest is I reached a point in my research where there were no more stories - in fact nothing except names and dates and who they married.  How good it would be if I could visit a website and read what my great grand fathers thought about.    Likely it was sex judging from the number of children they produced but still...  It occurred to me the same could be true of my life at some point in time assuming there's anyone around who gives a damn.

The third reason is cryonics.  I'm planning on having my body cryonically preserved if science does not end mortality as we know it before the owl calls my name.  Since the most optimistic estimate I've seen of this is 2040, I'll probably hear the owl.

No one knows how successful a cryonic preservation will be, my body might be lost at some point or I might be revived with only partial awareness of who I am.  Whether for descendants or to fill in the gaps of a damaged memory, this blog should be of some use.