Sunday, 18 October 2009

Is anybody out there?

Is anybody listening?

Does anybody believe?

Everyone who knows me knows I'm a bit off kilter.

Some of you (who believe yourselves falsely ON kilter, think I'm just silly. Worse yet, nuts.

Everybody who knows me knows that I have a few theories that are not exactly mainstream.

Everybody who knows me knows that not too many others were predicting (shouting, crying, warning) that the economy was going to go kablooey, and that was over 2 years ago.

I've also been saying other stuff.

Stuff like stuff nobody else is willing to say, at least publicly.

Someone asked me what I thought about this swine flu thingy thats all the news these days.

I said along time ago that this one worried me.

Didn't matter though, its just ted being ted.

When the H1N1 went "dormant" like all pandemics do, and when the W.H.O. ratcheted up their warnings to the highest level there is, I KNEW there was something indeed wicked this way coming.

The usual reasonable folks made statements like "more people die from common colds in the course of a year in America than died of H1N1 last year"

THAT sounds reasonable enough, I'm sure they all thought.

But they, like most good outcome wanting, reasonable thinkers, were wronger than wrong.

Something wicked this way comes.

Now it seems that even reasonable folks are waking up to this thing.

But I'm not so sure that the real threat is from the pandemic itself.

I believe, and this is based upon my own speculation, that this pandemic while quite dangerous, is going to be used as a catalyst to usher in "something else", like a treatment. A response to the pandemic, I fear, is going to be worse than the pandemic itself.

I have a seperate but not completely unrelated story that was related to me over a year ago.

A federal prison guard told me that a meeting was held in his prison, and in that meeting, officials from the CDC told the employees that vacinations were going to be given to all prison employees, and their immediate families.

This was not optional, they were told.

Also, Prison employees were probably noticing that refrigerated trailers (tractor trailers) were being parked on prison property, and they were a preperation for the anticipated "virus" that the federal government expected to hit "sometime next fall", and that the casualty rate was predicted around 1,000 to 1,500 persons, a day, locally .


I was as intruiged as he was by that statement.

My question tonight, besides wondering if anybody is out there at all, is whether or not anyone else senses something wicked this way coming?

A lot of people who are not necessarily readers here, have told me exactly that.

A lot.

People who dont spend all damn day introspecting or analyzing every damn feeling that comes their way.

People who can be honestly and accurately classified as "regular folk" have told me that they KNOW, that something is about to happen.

But nobody knows what.

Well, almost nobody.

I read about the coming (past) economic downturn a year and a half ahead of people like Jim Cramer, who is considered a stock market expert, with his own tv show.

He didnt say a word about it.

I read about a coming threat that is combined with the past economic downturn.

60 minutes isn't doing any stories about this one, either.

You do whatever you want.

Dont listen to me.

Play farmville or vampire hunter or whateverthehell you want to, I dont care.

I've written stuff like this before, and the usual suspects will say its just ted being vaguely ted again, but...................

No, no buts.

I dont care.

Everything I can see, is seeable for everyone to see, but most reasonable folks want to see the nice in everything.

The hopeful stuff.

No reasonable folks want to consider the really "out there" stuff.

The unthinkable stuff.


Another aside.

Tonight, 60 minutes is doing a story on a technology that is providing very hopeful leads in cancer treatment.

It involves nanotechnology and radio waves.

Whats important there, is the nanotechnology and the radio waves.

It is being reported tonight on 60 minutes, as I type, as a cancer breakthrough, but 3 or 5 years ago when I first read about the technology, it was being reported as quite the opposite.

It was being reported as a way to INFECT people, not cure them.

Watching the 60 minutes story, 5 years after first reading about the other stuff, I can see why people are so hopeful.

The technology works.

What I can't understand, is why reasonable thinking individuals are so quick to dismiss the possibility that someone with this technology would use it for ill gains.

So trusting, reasonable thinking folks are.

I read about a technology that COULD be used to infect populations of nations, 5 years ago, and I was considered nuts for believing it.

The only difference in the stories is the delivery systems of both the nanotech particles, and the radio waves activating them.

Both are not only doable, but being done.

Want links?

wants particulars?

Want specifics?

I didnt think so.

Don't worry. Be happy.

Do whatever you're told to do.

Continue to laugh and point at the silly folls like myself who will go kicking and screaming saying "no, not in MY country..."

Something wicked this way comes.
By the way, do you know what that picture is?
I didn't think so.

Have a nice day.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Pierce Bakery Bagels

Best bagels ever.

Yeah yeah yeah, you know what a good bagel is, and you are going to say or suggest a name.

Spare me.

Unless you're going to mention Hymey Smollowitz's bakery in Brooklyn (wait and see how many goofs google that), dont waste the effort.

Best bagels, EVER.

Unfortunately for me and bagels lovers in the area, pierce bakery is now a paint store, and the bagel recipe is gone forevermore. Has been for like 10 years now.

Once you've had a Pierce bakery bagel, all the rest are also-rans.

There was an orchard/farm in my area, that was run by a man named Mr Lord.

Lord's orchards, produced the BEST apple cider I've ever tasted. In the fall, Lord's orchards would be the center of the universe for me, and was on the way to every job I had to get to.

Sometimes, that would take some creativity and effort, but it was worth every ounce spent to get there.

I talked to mr Lord once, and told him what I thought of his apple cider, and he proudly told me that he used 7 different kinds of apples, and pears, in his cider mix.

IT, made the difference.

I knew it had something different in it, but when he told me it had pears in it, I said "THATS IT!".

Lord's orchards is now Lords Landing, or some such nonsensically named-McMansion development. I'm sure the current residents are all proud of the land's and mr Lord's history. Once they get the proper "harvest" decorations out, and all. Once the kids are retrieved from soccer practice, and all.
Yeah yeah I sound cynical, like some Earth First! goofball all bitter that the land isnt a farm anymore.
I'm not bitter because of that. I (unlike most environmental nut-jobs) understand economics and all that. I'm selfishly bitter that I can't get Mr Lord's cider anymore.
I APPRECIATE, and miss, Mr Lord's efforts.
I suppose if Mr Lord's son could have made a coupla million off of the cider, he would have kept the farm.

Mr Lord has left us to make cider and bagels in Heaven with Mr Pierce Bakery, but I didn't forget his efforts. Either man's efforts.

I know its not like either man changed my life, but what they did is missed now that they're not doing it anymore.

I CAN'T be the only one who misses them and their products.

Once you've had them, everything else is "ok".

I happened to chance across Mr Lords son one day, and I told him of his dad's cider and how much I enjoyed it.

He said the property is sold now, and he lives in NJ and had no interest in running the farm nor the orchard. "Pity", I told him. "Best cider EVER", I told him. Evidently, me saying that without a coupla million dollar check, didnt have much of an effect on Mr Lord Jr.

I guess any "smart" individual would have opted to sell the land and take the big fat old payoff, over shlepping over an orchard and land and cider presses and all, just to appease the pallate of some goofball dirt merchant.

I wonder if anyone other than the people who received some of Mr Lord's son's money, will miss HIM when his time comes to leave the earth?

I miss his dad's products, and his dad's efforts.

Like I miss Pierce Bakery bagels.

My wife is tired of me comparing every bagel on the planet to them, but I can't help it.

Once you have the best, what are you supposed to do, settle for half-assed efforted products?

Worse yet, full efforted, suckey products!?

Can't do it.

Can't go back.

I need THOSE bagels.

I need 7 kinds of apples AND pears, cider.

Once you've had the best, nothing else will completely do.
Funny how we touch other people. How what we do, affects others.
Don't settle. Do your best, in everything. Its going to matter to someone, maybe a lot of someones.
Add the pears.
Make the effort.
The world has too many shmoes in it already, just in it for the paycheck, for the same thing too many others are in it for.
For good enough.
Once you've had the best, you can't settle for good enough.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

seasons change

Another year has come and gone.

How do YOU measure years?

The school year?

I've been playing (and enjoying the hell) out of playing mr mom for the past few days.
I know, I know, thats easy for a few days. Well, I enjoyed it maybe because it was easy.
It helps that my outside-the-house-workload has been cut in half recently, so I AM able to give more than usual. Time will tell whether or not it lasts. My ability to give more, I mean.
Some of you readers (read: WOMEN) automatically believe that I should already give more. You may be right, but by the same token, I don't believe you give not even a small percentage of what I put into my life and day on a regular basis, so I guess we're even there.
And you'll forever be wrong.

So, back to topic.
I'm playing mr mom, carting kids here and there and running for dinner today.
On the way, one of the kids asks me if we can stop at the local ice cream stand, because it is, after all, "the last day of the season".
I say, "not before dinner" and continue on our way to market.

On our way back, again the question arises, "can we go to Maureen's for ice cream?! It IS the last day..............."
I said, "It is going to be a long time before we can go again, isnt't it?"
and kids not being totally brain dead and able to see a light at the end of the tunnel, yelled "YES!!!"

So we whipped in the parking lot of Maureen's, 15 minutes after we passed it on our way to the market.................................
and there's a big sign in the window saying "closed for the season".
Talk about heartbreak on a biblical scale.
quivering lips, sniffling noses, blurry vision.....

and that was just me.

The kids in the car were in total meltdown mode.
Of course it was all my fault. We should have gone there BEFORE we went to get something for dinner.....................

Yeah, well, I may be sentimental, but I aint stupid.

"Dont push it kids", I said, "its a frickin ice cream stand, not a love lost forevermore or anything........."

They didnt get that one, they just knew that the ice cream stand they shouted about everytime we passed was closed, and that was that.
End of an era, for them.

End of light at the end of the tunnel, for them.

So naturally I got to thinking.
"Is there any light at the end of MY tunnel?" I thought............

Yeah. There is, but its dim, and it seems hard as hell to get to.
Probably as dim as the light as the ice cream stand opening sometime after next easter, when its not even halloween yet, as explained to my youngest.
She just shouted "we can go there the next time when we come here!!"

Sounds logical.
We can go there the next time when we come here......

A lot is going to happen before then, I fear.

And by the by, the two older kids got out of the car and went to ask if they could still get an ice cream, even though the sign said "closed".
The nice (heartless, Cruella DeVanilla) Ice cream stand owner said "No".
So teary eyed and quivering lipped, they returned to the car.
He said they closed a minute ago, and that was that.
An ice cream nazi.

I've often (and I mean OFTEN) wondered, what exactly, did I miss, by a minute or so, in my life?............

Well, add one more to the list.

The chance to make the kids happy with a lousy 3 or 4 bucks worth of ice cream.

I know that its not much on the scale of life's disappointments, but it wouldn't have done any good to tell them that tonight.
They missed their chance, and the best they could hope for is some far off, distant point in the horizon that they really can't comprehend getting to.

THAT, I can relate to.

Be careful when you ask God to show you what you missed, he might just show you.

He does, and He did.

He showed me, after I begged, often with tears streaming down, to show me where I missed, what I missed.
He showed me exactly what, and where.

Be very careful what you ask God to show you.

He will, you know.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Stupid Finds Me

So I'm out picking up dinner tonight ( because I missed Rachel Ray today and didnt know what to whip up),

and I'm having a hard time understanding the nice girl behind the counter at the Chinese take out joint.

All I could hear, was "walla mulla harbinga googamunga sauce?"

I said "excuse me?"

And she said (louder) "walla mulla harbinga googamunga SAUCE?"

To which I responded (louder) "what KIND of sauce?"

She, all exasperated, says ""walla mulla KIND OF SAUCE?!"

"Ooooooooh, SAUCE" I say.

"Yeah, give me some".

With a disgusted look, she takes about 400 assorted packets of some kind of sauce or other, and flings them in my bag like I had a gun pointed at her head.

"You get ALL sauces"

Oh sure, THAT she can pronounce perfectly.

And I am left there to assume its MY fault, that I dont speak whateverrthehell it was she was speaking.

Stupid finds me.

Like whan I'm driving.

I used to actually believe alien mother ships were hovering overhead, folowing me just so that around the next blind curve, they could beam a blue haired steering wheel death clutching left turn signal on for 10 miles alien driven 20 mph BELOW the speed limit fake automobile, JUST TO PISS ME OFF!

All for cosmic yuks, I believed.

It happened way too frequently to be just coincidence.

Twice in the past year, in a construction zone on I-81 up near Scran-un, one of those alien driven fake automobiles STOPPED on the interstate, just so another Alien driven fake automobile could merge with 60 Mph traffic on the (just seconds before) flowing interstate.

Now to those of you who drive hondas or suburus, that may not be much of an issue, providing you dont have your head and/or heart deeply involved in text messaging or something.

But when you are driving a less than late model large truck towing more weight than you actually should be, it gets pretty interesting.

Stupid finds me.

Like when I'm out walking with my kids on a beautiful fall day on our way to a mushroom hunt.

While walking on a curvy country road, a car comes dangerously close to me (on the edge of the road) and my kids, who were off the road.

He zips by, I raise my hands up over my head, and yell "what the hell, IDIOT!?"

So up backs the near miss vehicle, and the guys says "you got a problem?"

"Oh goodie, a tough guy", I reply.

"No, I dont have a problem, YOU almost hit us, is the problem".

Then I notice the cage bettween the front and back seat, the police looking radio in the dash, and the gun on his hip.

He said "I didnt come close to you"

To WHICH, (not getting the gravity of challenging barney fife yet) I respond "no, it was the OTHER idiot driven maroon car that almost hit me".

"I didnt almost hit you, and I'm a police officer".

"Oh, that changes everything", I said. "Troopers and Grand Sultans of Oz get to run people over, I forgot"............

But wait, it gets better.

He asks my name, and I said "for what, the insurance claim to have the frickin (cept I didnt say frickin. Yeah, I know, in front of the kids and all) denim threads removed from your goddam bumper!?"

To which, barney the nascar wannabe said "Oh thats fine language around your kids..."

But wait, it gets better.

I said

"Oh, I suppose I should have said gosh almighty that nice police man ran over my foot...!?!?"

He put it in drive, and drove on, realizing I assume that stupid has returned the favor.

Stupid finds me, sometimes wearing uniforms.

So I'm deer hunting in the Poconos, and my vehicle is parked along the highway, like 50 others.

At the end of the (yet another) fruitless day, I emerge from the woods, and stand where my car should be.

I turn around, look at the tracks in the snow that tell me I walked in here, looked at the tire tracks in the snow that tell me my vehicle USED to be here..................

and say "Frick".

Thats one of thos monents you cant quite prepare for, and it just begs for a response.

"frick" was the best I could come up with.

December, dark, in the poconos, and miles from anywhere.

So I start walking.

A few miles into it, some fool decided it was a GOOD idea to pick up a lone man walking along the highway, at night, with a rifle over his shoulder.

Yeah I know, You cant make that up, and Thank God for it.

I get a ride to the state police barracks at the next exit, and I saunter in to report a stolen vehicle.

I start to tell the nice man in uniform behind the (not bullet proof enough for the gun on my shoulder) bullet proof glass, my story, and in walks another man in uniform.

"whats his story?" he asks, and I said "someone stole my car".

The nice man behind the glass tells him what kind it was, and the other (idiot) in uniform laughs and said "oh THAT, I had it towed."

I said "You WHAT?!" What are you RETARDED!? For WHAT!?"

Remember my mood, where I was, what I had to do to get there, and what was slung over my shoulder.

He said "because you cant park along the highway."

"What about the other 50 cars and trucks parked out there!?!?"

"didnt see any".

You're a frickin (again, didnt say frickin) moron".

(this is all true, and its a wonder I'm STILL not in jail).

"oh for THAT, I wont give you a ride to where it was towed", he said.

"Lemme get this straight", I said. "You tow my vehicle because you didnt like.......I dunno, the COLOR, you laugh when I show up to report it stolen, you CHASTISE me for hitchhiking because its illegal, and then you tell me I can walk another 20 miles, because I'm NOT FRICKIN NICE!?!?".

Beyond stupid.

The nice man behind the desk actually made the other idiot go away.

This next part you have to have a wad of tobacco, a couple of beers and a good belly scratch goin on to appreciate.

I can call ducks.

Like they're on a string, I've been told.

That means that I can really sound like a duck when I get the duck call goin'.

Like I said.......You need to be of a certain "mentality"to appreciate that.

Anyways, I'm sitting in my well camoflauged spot, blowing away at the duckies flying over head, when I hear a twig snap behind me.

I stop, then continue blowing again, then I hear a distinctive metal "click".

I stand up and yell "HEY!!!!!!"

And not more than ten feet away, is stupid, with his shotgun pointed right at me and my decoys.

Holy frickin frick.
"Huhuhuhuhuhu. you sounded just like a duck", says Elmer Fudd who almost made me a statistic.
"yeah, a 6 foot two duck with glasses. I make that mistake all the time".

sometimes, stupid has a gun.

whats the moral of this story?

Be prepared, stupid is just around the corner. And he may or may not have a gun.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

What does God do with the money, dad?

Nice pic, huh?
I told everyone all week, that I didnt want to go to THIS game.
I KNEW that Penn State would lose THIS game.
Then, on Friday, my daughter in college in Philly called to tell me that she REALLY wanted to come home, and oh, by the by, she had two tickets for she and I to go to THE game.
You know, the game I didnt want to go to.
So friday, I head on down to Philly, around 6 PM, when everyone else in Philly wants to leave.
Yeah, it was peachy.
Friday Schyukill traffic. 5 hours turns into 7 hours.
Kids, sheesh.
Saturday comes along, and I, we, had this confirmation thingy to go to, for my oldest son.
It was swell, as fine a confirmation ceremony as there ever was.
Afterwards we head back to the ranch where I, not one for chlorine conversations, turned on ESPN, which HAPPENED to be broadcasting from Happy Valley that day.
THAT, was all that my A.D.D. ass needed to blurt out to my daughter, "Lets GO!"
And go we did.
Another 2 1/2 hour (one way) trip this weekend, to see a game I didn't want to see. (see where this is going?)
We drove down to ever happy valley, the rain started about 2/3rds of the way there,
and it didnt stop for the rest of the weekend.
We luckily got a parking spot at the Hub (to all of you who dont know happy valley, its a covered parkade), and on a rainy football saturday, that is like winning the Pa Lottery.
And I mean we were in the right place, at the right time, to the SECOND. We parked, made our burnt offerings to the parking gods, and were on our way.
We walked around downtown, had coffees, watched people and bought ponchos and the usual stuff, and headed up to the stadium, with the rest of the faithful.
I KNEW Penn State would lose this game, but as they say "hope springs eternal".
That, and I told my dear daughter that "we are going to stay till halftime, and then head home.
At least we won't get home at 3 AM". It was my one injection of logic and sanity in the whole mix.
Then we trudged up to the stadium, waited in line (in the rain) for the increased security checks, bought our hot chocolate so we could have new mugs to remind her of this great place for the next year, and headed out to our seats.
Our seats, by the by, were as good as good gets. Better than good. Incredible.
Pouring rain, nighttime, knowing we were going to lose.
As half empty a glass as you could ever hope for, right?
Then we walked out of the ramp, and into the stadum, where a hundred thousand other delusional, enthusiastic fools waved their pom poms and cheered for their team.
At that time, at that place, in that rain, I KNEW, (knowing they were going to lose), that there was NO place on EARTH that I'd rather be.
Not in front of some warm dry tv, to be sure.
I HAD to be here, tonight.
And I was, with my daughter. She wanted to be there even more. Not something you could explain to a non believer.
THAT, was the important part of the evening. The actual game, was incidental.
Age realigns priorities like that.
It was more than fun.
It was magical.
If you haven't been there, in that setting, you wouldn't understand.
Like someone who has never loved. You can't explain to them what its like. If Shakespere can't, you or I surely can't.
Fast forward to 18 hours ago, when everyone was scurrying to get ready for church.
My 10 year old daughter was all upset because she couldn't find her purse.
I said "you don't need your purse for church" (very matter of factly)
To which she responded "but daddy, I want to put some money in the basket......"
To WHICH my 5 year old daughter immediately asked "What does God do with the money daddy?"
Explaining why its magical to drive 2 1/2 hours and sit in a pouring rainstorm to watch your team (which you know is going to lose), is easier to explain to a hypothetical wife who hypothetically wants to understand why you do the things you do......................................
than it is to explain "what does God do with the money, daddy?"
I said "He builds churches with it".
She, the 5 year old, looked at me like I was a fool who enjoyed driving 2 1/2 hours to sit in a rainstorm and watch my team lose, for FUN.
Sharp cookies, kids are.
But thats my answer and I'm stickin to it.
It was Magical, and
God needs it.
Silly as it sounds, its the truth.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Old Broken Toys

"Nobody wants a Charlie in the Box..............."

Funny thing, kids are.
There can be a broken unwanted not-even-said-hi-to-in-a-month toy sitting in the corner, but the minute that another kid picks up that unwanted toy, all hell breaks loose.
You'd think that the unwanted toy was just repainted, dunked in a vat of cholocate syrup and wrapped in 50 dollar bills, the way its now fought over.
2 minutes ago when it was ignored and unwanted, the toy's owner couldn't care less about it.
The minute the toy is wanted by someone else, the kid is all kinds of concerned.
Better still is that the second the owner is sure the other kid isnt interested, the toy goes back to the island of misfits. Back on the shelf to resume being ignored.

Why IS that?
Human nature?
Just general selfishness?

I don't care WHAT kind of junky, beat up, worthless feeling toy it is, if some other kid wants it, its MINE!!! (and nobody else can not play with it, either)
Yes, I phrased that correctly.

My two boys were instructed to clean up their room by their mother recently (like every day), and in case you're interested, the room looks like a SWAT team just did a room clearing exercise in it. Complete with flash bangs, lots of small arms rounds, and a couple of hand grenades thrown in just for good measure.
In short, its a disaster.
So mom finds a BROKEN IN HALF motorcycle toy, about 3 inches long, among the other hundred or so unwanted uncared for items in there.
The very definition of worthless.
Little casey acts like his favorite-est childhood memory inducing toy was just flung in the garbage when mom made it go "clunk" in the can.
End of the world, on a 7 year old scale.
Something lying under his bed, broken inhalf, for God knows how long, yet STILL he is traumatized by it being thrown out. Better yet, hes all kinds of surprised that its getting flung out.
Go figure.
They CLEARLY dont want these things, these toys.
They leave them uncared for, unattended to, just cast aside.
Why the trauma and the grief?

I can't figure this out, and it really has me perplexed.

Yeah I know the old saying, but someone should expand on it, and say "if you DON'T want something, throw it the hell out already".


I used to think "if I have a couple more, I'll surely figure them out".
Now I know better.
Theres NO figuring them out.
Surviving them is the current goal.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Its All Black And White

While lying in bed awake last night, as is the case often times lately, my mind thought of things that seemed less than pleasing.

Everything seemed so dark, so................................DARK.

Then for some A.D.D. reason, I thought of another dark time, in a very dark, cold, black and white place.

It was January or late December or something, and it was cold. Cold and dark, but it was a good kind of cold and dark.

I waded out in the middle of a partially frozen river, to the only open water for miles around, WHICH, would attract ducks and geese, from miles around, was the theory.

I dodged ice floatsoms while navigating my way out to the small, nothing but a bump of gravel slightly above the waters surface, island.

I strategically (um, one here, two there.........) set my decoys, they positioned myself to look like a lump of snow on a gravel hump in the middle of a river, all to kill a duck or two.

Yeah, I know, its not something one spends much time thinking rationally about.

Anyways, while daylight approached (oh, I forgot to mention that I dodged ice flows while wading, in the DARK?),

I noticed something else.

"Man, this is pretty". Could've been the lack of blood flowing to my brain at that point.

No color whatsoever. Black water, with white ice flows spinning and bumping and crashing into each other as they flowed. White snow on the mountains around me, with black leaf less trees standing silently on them.

Black and White.

Laying on a gravel bar of an island gives one an interesting perspective. Kinda like placing ones ear on a railroad track.

The sound of the water flowing, and the ice flows flowing into each other, is one I'll never forget. Grinding, bumping, flowing.

The only color was in the dog's coats, but even they looked like a shade of grayish non-color, instead of the deep chocolate that they were.

No color, black and white.

It was surreal. The wind made a sond as it entered my hood, which added to the experience. So much so, that I failed to hear the 20 or so ducks that just plopped themselves all around my little island.

The dogs started twitching and whimpering as if to be saying,

"godammit dad, we DIDN'T come out here for you to lie there and get all frickin philisophical. SHOOT a goddam duck!!"

I sit up, the ducks say "what the frick!?!?"

They fly, I shoot, the dogs spring into action, and everybody (save for a few ducks) is happy.

Its all so black and white.

I wish everything could be black and white. And the good kind of cold and dark.

Don't you?

My Spot

Sorry, I dont have a picture available of my spot.


Its my favorite spot in pennsylvania, to be sure. Maybe my favorite spot anywhere.

That one will take some thinking.

The number of people I've shown "my spot", you could count on one hand.

Its a public spot, open to all who wish to go there, but not too many people go there, and me and the trout like it that way.

Back when I used to harass the trout on a regular basis, any and all intruders (like 3 a year) would usually put me in a sour mood, at least temporarily.

It was MY spot, after all................

I don't go there much anymore, for a variety of reasons, but even if its once a year the place still feels exactly the same, like I never left.

I didnt go there this year, and tonight, while I was sitting in the spot that actually IS My spot, I thought about my other spot. My REAL spot.
The picture is of my son casey sitting on our patio, which is on a stream, and isnt too bad of a spot in its own right.
Its been a less than perfect month or three, and today it seemed to come to a boil.
I haven't even gotten to sit by my own stream lately, but tonight I did.
And what I did, was nothing in particular, just watch and think.
(heres where it gets boring)
I watched mayflies do what they do, which is go from an underwater creature, to a flying creature, to mating (the good part), and then dying (The yet-to-be-determined-part).
They were doing this way before I owned this place, and they'll be doing it long after I dont own this place.
Just like at My Spot.
Its hard not to feel connected to a spot where you've spent thousands of after dark hours, by one's self, standing in the middle of a large wild river, casting to invisible trout sipping invisible flies off the waters surface.
I feel and felt like just as much a part of that spot as some of the boulders that have been there for milleniums.
I belonged there.
It wasn't about the trout, although each one was a small victory to be sure. None were harmed, save for their dignity perhaps. All were released because they belonged there, just like I did.
My job was to fool them into believing that my fly was the real dinner, and each time I did, they got smarter, and more difficult to fool the next time.
A classic catch 22.
That was my job as part of the spot. To make the trout smarter, and to annoy the beavers who lived there. They would occasionally scare the bejeebus out of me by either bumping into my wading legs, or swimming silently up behind me and slapping their tails just a few feet from me.
THAT, usually got either an audible response from me, or something just this side of cardiac arrest.
Often times both.
I don't know why I thought of My Spot, while sitting on my spot, especially this evening.
Today seemed like a practice run for national crisis week, and tonight, I was just plum exhausted.
I just sat down near the creek to veg out, and then noticed the flies dancing above the water's surface.
I tried to close my eyes, then I realized that the sound of a rushing stream is only half of it, if that. So I took it all in.
No great revelations occured while sitting there, and I'm still tired as hell, but I realized that everything is fine in My Spot.
The trout may be a little dumber than they used to be there, but thats ok too.
And I can see it like I'm there right now.
I imagine sometime soon some other young man/woman will be driving their old jeep around creation, looking for their spot.
They too, will see that pull over along the road no where near the river, but pull over anyways, just because something tells them to.
They will get out of their vehicle, look at the steep path down to where they know the river should be, and maybe say something to themselves like,
"oh what the hell, I'm not made out of crystal..............."
Then when they get to the bottom, and emerge through the last of the underbrush and stand and look at what I first saw, they'll say..........................
"holy frick. I found my spot".
And they'll begin the journey of learning everything about it, one step at a time.
Its a great spot.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Just another day in paradise

With nothing to write about.

I say that a lot when people ask me "hows it going?"

"Just another day in paradise".

Just another day.

One more day.

On the road to what? THAT, is the question. No, I'm not going to get all philisophical and gushy on you.

Not tonight.

I'm just wondering what its all addin up to.

Where its all going.

Its been a rocky, bumpy, trudge-y road thus far, but I cant but hope that its going to level out, to open up, to get to where I want it to get to.

I'm not looking for the Land Of Oz, just somewhere nice.

Somewhere pleasant. Somewhere I WANT to be.

I've got a few ideas as to how to get there, (wherever that is), but they seem like pipe dreams at this point.

So here I sit tonight, after yet another uneventful day, wondering if life is just one uneventful day after another.

To be trugded through, to get to the end.

Nah. Thats idiotic.

thats how most people seem to view it.

I don't give a rats ass how most people do it. Nor, have I decided, do I care what they think of how I do it.

They can take pleasure in my decisions, and add some spark to their trudge filled day discussing me and my decisions.

Gee, that souonds narcisissistic, doesn't it?


Dont care about that, either.

Life is indeed too damn short.

And there are no "Best Trudger" medals to be handed out at the end, either.

I've been trudging through paradise for the better part of the past 25 years, and I think, I've had a bellyfull.
Tonight, I saw the emergency vehicles pull up to an elderly neighbor's house.
Tonight, I wonder what happened at "Tony's" house. Whether it was him, or his wife who was gurneyed away in an ambulance.
Tony, as I have learned, was no trudger.
He was a "hell raiser" when he was a youngster, as told by another neighbor, on numerous occasions.
Lately however, he was a trudger's trudger. Old age will do that to you.
Tony is/was of old age. Hell raising youth notwithstanding, he was just an old guy who went through the motions of his latter days, with a smile.
I dont want to be remembered as anything but "a content guy".
I know, I know, take a number.
And very few people would categorize me as "happy and/or contented".
At this point, anyways.

Are you trudging?

Do you believe we are supposed to?

Generations have believed that, y'know.

This isnt some mid life crisis, in case you're wondering.

Its a mid life lane change.

Road change.

Route change.

I've got half a life left, and if you think I want to trudge through IT like the past seemingly endless years, youre as nuts as I am.

If you're lucky, I wont knock on your door and say "c'mon, lets get the hell outta here..."

ooooooooooooh, you looked at the door with that comment, didntcha?


You GET what I'm talking about.

Well, gotta go now. Gotta get some sleep so I can trudge through another day in paradise, tomorrow.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Life and Death at the County Fair............

"At least I'm not THAT guy", I thought.................

He probably sat in his seat saying the exact same thing about everybody he saw. About everybody he taunted while he sat there.

And that laugh.

It must be the same guy thats been there for years, because the odds of two people having the same laugh, doing that job, I imagine are pretty big.

Well, THREE people.

5 or 6 or 8 years ago, I had a coworker who had the same exact laugh. So much so, that another coworker nicknamed him "dunktank", because of the similarity in the laughs. "Dunktank" is in reference to the clown who sits over a tank of water, and taunts fairgoers to (buy, and) throw balls at the target in an attempt to get him dunked.

I remembered that laugh, and I remembered that coworker.

Hes in prison now on two murder charges, in connection with a very famous case.

It was a loud laugh, an infectious laugh, almost a forced laugh, but it wasnt. He was the type of guy to laugh at everything.

Not so much anymore, I'd guess.

As far as I knew him, he was a nice guy. Friendly as hell, and I bet if the company were to cast a secret ballot then, as to which coworker would be where he is today, I'd have gotten more votes than he would've.

I'm not exactly a social butterfly at work, y'know. Not like I'm rude, but there are people who HAVE to store beer in the trunk so they can have one before they get home, and there are people who do not.

Even on the worst days (and their name is legion), I can wait.


I dont remember anything bad about him, but then again, you can spend more time then 10 or 12 hours a day, for 6 days a week, and STILL not know someone, y'know?

Sometimes, it takes something more. You know, like a murder charge to light up the lightbulb over your head.

Or something.

So I'm walking around our county fair, and I hear this laugh.

My first thought is "holy cow that guy is STILL at it".

And then I thought of the nicknamed guy. He's still where he is too.

Always will be.

At least I'm not THAT guy.

Either of them.

I started to wonder about each, both of them and their lives.

Whats it like to travel around and do THAT, for years on end? Man thats gotta suck times a thousand.

At least people compliment my work or slip me a hundred bucks as a tip every once in a while.

THAT guy gets the finger for doing his job, and thats AFTER he gets dunked.

Sheesh, I bet HE keeps a cooler of beer in his trunk.

I wonder what its like for dunktank in prison?

I wonder how a happy go lucky type survives in there?

God he must feel lonely.

I wonder if I should visit him?

Yeah thats it. Start my workplace social networking in the state prison.

I dunno.

At least I'm not that guy.

Its gotta be one of the lonliest places on earth.

One of.

Like a county fair.

Friday, 11 September 2009

9-11, take out pizza, and talk radio

Ive "tuned out" lately, in case you haven't noticed.

I mean, I've REALLY tuned out, of the world around me, for a variety or reasons.

Burn out, frustration at the level of incompetency and idiocy and duplicity in the world..............maybe a combination of the three and a lot more.

For whatever reason, I dont read papers, watch news, listen to news, go to my usual news filled websites (that I have determined to be the BEST).


So today is 9-11. The aniversary of the day..............well, you know.

I overheard someone tell someone else today "I didnt realize it was 9-11..."


That part, I didnt forget. No one can tune out that much.

After a usually blissful day at work, I went out for some pizza with the gang.

And by gang, I mean a carload of kids.

While waiting for our order to be filled, I was treated via the pizza joint radio to a local talk radio buffoon that I tuned out long before I tuned out.

His name is steve corbett, and he is as clueless, and as embarrassing as they come.

Embarassing to the area, to thinking individuals everywhere, and to his employers.

But wait, theres more.

His callers, are a notch or 12 below him, and today, they were inspired to show how much they didnt know, and on the air, to boot.

So I'm standing in a typical pizza joint, waiting like all the other good folk for the pizza to be cooked. We're all forced to listen to the pizza joint radio and one after another after another local "got-it-all-figgred-outters" call in like they're going to get compensated for being the most inane caller of the day.

They all win.

There are the usual Rosie ODonnel types, you know, the "truthers" who believe the CIA did it all.

There are the "educated" types, who after reading "the entire 9-11 commission report, have ALL the answers...."

And there are the reformed new religious types, who believe that peace and harmony will conquor all"..............

I actually laughed out loud at two particullary idiotic comments while waiting, and got less than approved reactions from the other waiters in line, I might add.

One fool, actually said on air, that he "couldnt believe that any human being could actually believe that another human being would WILLFULLY fly a jet into a building, and kill other human beings....." and he said it like he was enlightened.

I suppose its easier to believe that EVIL U.S. government employees could plant explosives and blow up said buildings, easier than Radical Muslims could fly a jet into it, I dunno. It was nothing short of painful to hear it all, that much I do know. I couldnt help saying outloud "ever heard of KAMIKAZIES, you goddammed fool?"
My seemingly witty response was left hanging there in the pizza smell filled air.

Why do I write this now?

I dont know. Maybe because its something that has to be written today. On an anniversery of our stupidity, and our resistance to be anything but.

We're a hundred times as stupid as we were on 9-10-01. We havent even come to an agreement on what kind of building to rebuild there, some 8 years later.

We believe that by making nice policies with people who would do such a thing, that we could get them to realize that flying 767's into office buildings, is an unreasonable option.

THAT, is where we are today.

And worse, that is who is leading our nation, today.

And everybody wonders why I tuned out.

Everybody wonders whats wrong with Ted.

Like I said a billion times in my life,

"It aint me, Lord, it aint me.

Its the rest of the pack of idiots you stuck me here with."

Like the local talk radio buffoons.

Like the buffoons heading our country these days. Like the buffoons who are considered experts in the world of news, and world events.
I wouldnt allow any of them to watch my kids, let alone by back.

I've "tuned out" because quite honestly I believe its all over save for the next big white flash.

I've tuned out,because after two wars and more info than any reasonable individual would ever need to be truly informed, we are still, and MORESO dumber than a box of rocks, as a nation.
Don't believe me? Listen to Corbett.
Go talk to an ex-favorite relative who believes that "getting healthcare for everyone who needs it is worth whatever sacrifices we need to make as a whole."
Cant fix stupid, like you cant fix being short.

Whats MY solution, you say?
Yeah thats it.
Anyone who knows me knows what Ive been saying for the past 5 or more years.

Nobody listened, and they're still not.

My solution is to stick the I Pod things in your ears, and tune out.

Like me.

Difference is, when the big white flash DOES occur, I know what to do.

You could just come to my house, I suppose, and start listening then.

Better late than never.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Real Men Don't buy Wine

Or so they tell me.
Me? I'm not so closed minded. Of course, I also happen to love red wine.

Funny thing, that label "real man".
Sensitive guys like myself (see photo) spend our days doing sensitive stuff, like getting in touch with our feelings and discussing clothing color schemes and such.
You know, "no red with orange".................... stuff like that.
I guess its all part and parcel of the wine drinking thing.

I can remember blasting the shit out of stuff with a machine gun after jumping out of the helicopter thinking, "gee whiz, I hope I dont break a nail or something on this mission". No, I did. It was all rainy and muddy and icky, and it was bad enough getting gross dirt under my nails, but if they got chipped, how would I EVER show myself at the office the next day??!!
Sheese, talk about pressure.
We real men have an image to uphold, y'know.

Its one tight balancing act pulling off the whole thing, let me tell you.
One minute we have to know.......EVERYTHING, and the next, we're supposed to switch gears to dragon slaying mode, and slay the damn dragon, to boot.
And now I find out, do it without admitting to liking wine.*

Like I said, funny thing about that label "real man".
Some of us don't care. Some of us want to be considered as such. Some of us worry about who thinks what in regards to it all..........

Me? I'm just sitting in my man room, drinking wine, trying to decide the definition of a good man, not a real man.
I've done enough manly stuff for fun and profit to feel comfortable with all that crapola. Theres more important issues to work out.
Issues that as I live and watch, it seems everybody struggles with.

This journey isnt easy, is it?
No, not for anyone, it seems.

And I'm watching people who dont realize they're being watched, or noticed, is maybe a better term.
No, not staring and stalking kind of watching, but noticing. Everyone. Ask the guy who muttered "real men don't buy wine...", he'll tell ya.
Like check out people, or people you meet at a yard sale.
You know, for a few seconds or minutes. Its amazing what you can pick up, if you keep your eyes open.

I see a lot of people differently than I once did.
Some much better than originally, some, not so much.

Live and learn.

Yeah, sage advice, I know. Like telling a baseball batter to "hit em where they ain't".
"learn" is the critical word in that phrase.

I dont have any answers either, but I'm noticing that no one does, and thats my point.
I used to think I did, but now know better.
I'm twice as lost as you.

but I'm learning.

* (note to wine hater: most philosophies need to be adjusted. Trust me on this one, you're all wrong)

Monday, 7 September 2009

chicken wing magic

Ive already written about the magic of chicken soup, and if you didnt read it, start backpeddling.

In case you havent noticed, Ive been whining like a notre dame fan about "strength of schedule" points, regarding my life lately.

Nothing specific, really.

My boss is nuts, the clients are nuts, my wife is nuts, and oh yeah, I'm nuts too.

Other than that, its all good.

The kids arent nuts though.

They know EXACTLY what they're doing, and ITS all bad, and on purpose.

Other than THAT, its all good.

So I'm trudging through another day in paradise, with little but memories of weekend ice cream to cheer me up, and then I get a call.

My college aged daughter, whom I havent seen in a month or two, is home for a visit.

After passing out the usual scoldings, beatings, and frownations upon coming home, I shower up and ask my visiting oldest if shed like to go for a ride with me. Shes been with the little kids for an hour at least, so naturally she says "SURE!"

So she accompanies me to the luxurious barber shop where she is treated to a fascinating exchange of talk of weather, deer antlers, and work.

Then its gets good.

After getting my (distinguished with just the right amount of gray) hair cut, we go out for wings.

Nothing extravagent, just wings and beer.

Sounds like a date night on the country channel, huh?

Its not that we or she solved the problems of the day, or the universe, its that it was different, that it was good. That it was nice.

Nice is nice, I've already written that.

Its like a well timed hug. Not going to change the universe's direction, but it sure is welcome at the right time.

Just enough to change your outlook, your view, your disposition, even your despondency.

I suppose you could classify it as a "little thing" of life. Something to appreciate, something to remember.

The wings are almost always good, but who you have them with makes all the difference.

Like a campfire.

I cant imagine that as a parent I'm the only one, who while sitting across a table from an (almost) grown up child, the mind races from babyhood to beer and boyfriend talk, in every conversation.

Maybe I am. Maybe its the whole adult A.D.D. thing going on.

Lucky me.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

These are a few of my favorite things............

My eyes well up as the blue band drum corp plays their special little ditty just before they take the field every game.

Every morning I'm hunting, when the darkness wanes and daylight first makes its presence known, when shapes begin to form, and the forest awakens.

Being thought of as more than I think I am.

Good Red Wine.

Good conversation.

Silence, unless I'm looking for good conversation.

Choosing the right fly, and making the right cast, at the right time.

Everything that leads up to making that cast.

A really good book.

Handing that book off to someone I know will appreciate it.

Ice Hockey.

Making Love, as opposed to having sex.

Clear, crisp, starry nights.

Creaky wooden screen doors.

Stories of the "old days".

Standing in a river and feeling the water flow through me.

For hours.

Frank Sinatra music.

The SMELL, of autumn.

When the child who never says "I love you dad" says it.

Saying it back.

I like fireworks.

Getting a good picture of something.

Knowing what my dogs were thinking and trying to tell me.

Knowing how to tell them what I was trying to say.

Puppy breath.

A good cigar.

Having someone say "yeah, I'd like to have a beer and talk to you...."

I LOVE women, because I love to talk to them. I dont care about cars, or money, or poker, but I love to talk about flowers and ideas and emotions and such. I havent found too many guys yet who were willing to be as silly as me.

I love guns, too, but could give a rats ass about how they work. I like them to work, and I LOVE to shoot, but beyond that, who cares.
Shoot em, clean em, put em back together till the next time.

Its all "chlorine" talk when it gets down to mechanics and ballistic coefficients and such.

I dont need to know why the car can go fast, just like I dont need to know why the bullet hits the target. I just like it to, and like being able to make it do so.

There are more important things to worry about, is how I view it. Let the pot bellied guy with the half eaten stogie worry about making it work. I just want it to. We all have our roles to fill.

Above all, I like being loved.

There is nothing else, really.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

I yuse-ta be a mason y'know...........

I imagine I'll be saying that to some whipper snapper someday.

Can't imagine that it'll be after I'm a recovering addict, weighing 300+ lbs, standing in the doorway wearing bermuda shorts and a 3 sizes too small t-shirt, however. But you never know.

Saying it to someone OLDER than me, to boot.

While HE is doing work for me that a third party is paying for, I might add.

"So howcome you're using these stupid stones instead of stamped concrete?" He asked me.

I said "have you ever seen stamped concrete? Its supposed to BE this stuff.

This, is what you call the real deal."

"I like concrete" he said.

"gee, big revelation there" I thought, but for a change held that one in.

"See those brick steps out front?" he asked me.

I said "you mean the Dr Seuss ones?"

"huh? No, the BRICK ones"...................

"nevermind, yeah, I saw em".

"Well, (he boasted) I MADE em. In 10th grade. I took masonry in school. At the VO tech."

"You peaked early", I said.

"Yeah, thanks".

Some people will complain no matter what, I suppose. Get a (many) thousand dollars worth of home improvements for free, and all you can say is that the noise is making it difficult to watch Jerry Springer inside.

Here, you can use my dust mask to cry in..............

In case you haven't noticed, I'm cranky tonight.

Don't know why, but maybe you can use it to your advantage.

Maybe seeing THAT guy wanting EVERYTHING, made me think about ME wanting Everything.

Here's a (whatever kind of) addict, no job, free house, free everything, complaining about getting the absolute BEST possible type of stonework available. Doesn't add up, nor does it sit well.

We all complain, and find enough to complain about rather easily, but this guy HAS to stay up late at night to find things to complain about.

"yeah, THATS it, I want my lazy hazy crazy days of summer to be construction free, so I can go to the clinic every day, and NOT have to step over icky men doing icky work, with icky tools all over the place...........................and I want CONCRETE!!"

Yeah, I CAN be kinda cynical when I want to, huh?

Everybody wants it all, myself included. Human nature, I suppose. Except for the drone types, who either dont know any better, or......................well.......................don't know any better. They're happy to "settle".

Maybe the guy who I talked to today has dreams too.

Maybe he wants to be a mason again (but after watching me for a week or two, I think thats doubtful). Who knows what his dreams are.

Do YOU have dreams?

I did. Do, actually. They won't go away. Theres only one thing I want to do, and its everything. It just won't go away. Hasn't for a lot of years now. The first time I realized it, I said "thats IT", and it hasn't ever stopped being "it".

I wrote about Frank McCourt in an earlier post, and suprisingly enough to me when I found out, his writing career didn't start until he retired from his day job, which was a teacher in the New York City Public schools. His career that got him a Pulitzer, started after he retired.
THAT, is inspiration to me. Its never too late, is what it says to me. Never give up.

So I figure either I haven't learned everything I need to learn doing what it is I'm currently doing, or this, is it.

I gotta go with A, because if its B, then I might end up hitching a ride to the methadone clinic with the ex-mason. Or worse.

Whats your dream?

You have one. Even if you don't know what it is. It may be buried, or it may be deadened by life and what has made you feel numb for a long time. Bring it back to life.

Get quiet, and listen inside. You'll know what it is.

It may surprise you when you find out, but its there.

If I can believe in me, I can believe in you, too.

Don't give up.

Don't never ever give up on your dream.

Its Everything.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


I used to be a fan of the tv show 24. It used to be good, before they got all politically correct, and made every terrorist hell bent on destroying the united states, anything BUT Islamic extremists.

Now, its a green celebration of politically correct idocy, with stars like jeanine garrafalo (dont care that I spelled her name wrong, shes an idiot)

So 5 or so years ago, after watching this GREAT tv show every week religiously, it was the day of the season finalle, a 2 hour shoot em up and kill all the dammed Islamic terrorists television extravaganza.

Before I made popcorn and put on my special ops pajamas to settle in for a serious night of tv watching, I decided to go down by the "crick" and burn some boxes.

I started to burn the boxes in the fire ring, and noticed some people walking upstream, on the other side of the creek.

I went to the water's edge, and said to them "I'm sorry, but this is private property and you cant come......................."

So there's 4 of them.

The oldest of the 4 was about 40, and the other 3 were 20ish.

The oldest was wearing khaki pants and pennyloafer shoes, and he martches right through the stream to my side, and sticks out his hand and says

"Hi, I'm Tony and we just want to walk through and fish here...."

Really friendly. Caught me off guard friendly.

They all had fishing poles. Deep sea fishing poles, but they had fishing poles.

One guy carried a white plastic garbage bag, one carried a large cooler, and the others had just fishing poles.

None of the poles were "rigged", that is to say the string wasnt run throught the poles' eyes, nor were any of the poles equipped with hooks or anything else to catch fish with.

The men were all dark skinned, like say......................Lebanese dark, not Etheopian dark. All had very short, very dark hair.

They also spoke a language I didnt know, while speaking amongst themselves, but I think I recognized a few russian words in there. Not sure.

Anyways, "Tony" the apparent leader and speaker ot the group, was as friendly as friendly gets.

He said "We're from some shit-hole of a town near philly, and we're up here to fish".

I asked them where they parked, and they told me about a half mile downstream.

I asked them where they were headed, and Tony said "just up that way". I said that there wasnt anything "up that way" for over a mile, but he just smiled and said "thats ok". Now it was 7 pm or so, and to be that far from your vehicle, going in a dierction that didnt lead anywhere, didnt add up in a big kinda way.

One of the men pointed out my St. Francis statue in the landscaping to one of the other men, and in his gesture, it didnt appear to be in a complimentary kind of way.

It didnt set in, until after events played out.

When my wife holding my then newest baby came down the steps to the patio, one of the younger men said to Tony "hey tony, we gotta go".

And they started walking upstream.

I said to them as they walked up, "hey, watch out for rattlesnakes, they're here, and I kill em all the time around here. (kids and all. SCREW poisionous snakes when the kids are present)

Anyways, Tony didnt miss a beat, said thanks and smiled and waved bye bye.

I walked back up to the house, and something just didnt add up. I started to replay what I just witnessed, and started to notice things I missed at first.

So I called the state police in shickshinny. (first mistake)

I told them what I witnessed, and why I thought it was suspicious, and they said "those guys were stopped by a trooper from the wyoming barracks, and they had fishing licenses and checked out. If you see anything else, give us a".


So I called Wyoming barracks, and told THEM what I saw and thought about it all.

Some female phone answerer told me pretty much the same thing the shickshinny barracks person did, but at least she thanked me.

She hung up too.

DAMN DAMN! THis isnt RIGHT!" I thought.

So taking matters (and my favorite .45 caliber handgun) I decided to run upstream to see just what the hell they were up to. I went through a neighbor's field, and got to a point high above the creek where I could see them if they came through. They didnt, and it started to get dark. So I headed back to the house, and just as I was coming out of the woods, I saw a black suburban pull up on the bridge. A "guy" got out, walked down to the water's edge with a box, and looked up and downstream, and then got back in the suburban.

THAT, really didn't add up.

So I walked up to the house, all kinds of frustrated with the state police's inability to recognize me as a bonafide terrorist watcher...........................

Then the phone rang.

It was the trooper who pulled the guys over earlier in the day, and he asked me to tell him everything I saw.

So I did, and then he said "tell me again".

After I told him a second time, he said "hang on, I'm going to connect you with someone"..... and another phone rang, and then someone answered and said "homeland security".

This guy also wanted to hear everything. Twice.

After I told him everything (twice), he asked me, "what do YOU think they were doing?"

I said I was a fisherman who traveled a LOT to fish, and from what I saw, these guys were definitely NOT fisherman. I also said I was in the military, and we used to practice (and practice) missions under conditions that would best resemble the theoretical mission.

I ALSO mentioned that there is a water filtration plant for over 50,000 people directly Up Da Crick, from my house, and if you just walked up the creek, you'd run right into it.

He said "Up until the part where you told them there were poisionous snakes, I thought they were just some goofy guys from philly going fishing. When you told me the part about the snakes, it became different.

I'll be right there".

Meanwhile, I was missing the season finale of 24, but hell, I had my own little 24 going on right here.

In a little while, we had very low, very slow flying helicopters buzzing overhead.

Never found anything, or anyone.

A week or so later, I received a phone call requesting me to identify the four guys on a video tape where they bought the fishing stuff.

Not a problem.

Right place, right time. Burning boxes by Da crick.

I talked to the homeland security guy once after that, when my wife noticed another black suburban stop on the bridge near our property, and two guys got out and without expression or acknowledging her standing 30 feet from them. The guys both looked and pointed upstream, and talked quietly amongst themselves, then left.

Fast forward a month or two at a family party or something, when I got to recount this story to (as luck would have it), a high up muckity muck from the water company.

I told HIM the story, and he turned white as a sheet.

He said he heard nothing of it, and I asked him " what kind of security is on the water treatment plant"?

He said "the door has a lock"

Hence the white as a sheet response.

Not very encouraging. On many fronts.

So My intuitions (albeit a little slow) were dead nuts on. The state police and homeland security thought as I did. Gee, imagine that. Took em a while, but they came around.

Problem is, the water treatment plant is being protected by Joe the cleaning guy.

"Hey, whaddya doin IN there!?"

"Uh.......nuttin...we just checking pipes is all...................."

"oh, okey-dokey then........Light turn off by themselves at 9, so wrap it up.........................".

Not so much.
Hey, at least I'M on the job...................................
Nice photo, heyna or no?

Monday, 31 August 2009

The first day of school

That phase gets a myriad of responses, depending on how one is affected by it.

Some moms (and from what I've seen, some dads) look forward to it like a date with Chippendales and/or a case of apple martinis.

Some moms (ahem) look forward to it like their beloved little chitlins are going off to war. We dads who arent testosterone deprived, cant seem to get our arms around the concept of the kids being gone all day, as being a bad thing, or a traumatic thing.

Men are from mars, and women are from venus, I suppose.

Kids? Like I HAVE to say where THEY come from!?!?

Heres a hint, you dont have to TEACH kids, to misbehave. They all have PhD's in that department.

Here's how your typical dad feels about this subject.

Kids gone? Frees mom for what moms were meant to do.

You know, clean the house, and have sex.

No, not with the chippendales, with the dad.

Or at least thats how its supposed to work, in the world of a dads.

How do (some) moms view it?

Like some storm troopers just yanked the kids out of her arms, and put them in a boxcar.

I dont get it, but its not my job to get it, (yeah, literally) its my job to make it better.

A:I could shoot the storm troopers, I suppose..........or
B:remind her that the kids usually spend the vast majority of their waking moments giving her gray hair and ulcers...............................or

C: I can bring home a bananna cream pie ( a fav) and tell her to "go take a bath".

I went with "C".

Didnt see any storm troopers, and that would've been my first choice.
Choice B, would've turned a weepily nice trauma into a "DID YOU JUST DO WHAT I THINK YOU JUST DID?!" type of trauma.
I'm dense, but not an idiot.

Its not necessarily how WE view the trauma that affects others, its how THEY are affected by it.

Now being a drama queen means that everybody in my orbit is subjected to their fair share of traumas. Sometimes, no matter how silly it may appear to an outsider, they dont feel silly to those in the middle of it all.

Like the first day of school.

How someone, (especially those close to us) react to our little traumas, says everything.

A kind word when a kind word is needed, is everything.

And everything, is all that matters.

You can read this, and for some strange reason apply it to your life, and maybe it'll help someone sometime.

But if you have to tell your special someone, "no, this REALLY bothers me", then maybe your trauma isnt the real issue.

So for those of you out there wondering is your special someone is "involved" as you, or even at all.....................

if you have to ask, then the answer is no.

Loving isnt about being nice. Its about being everything, without being told that you need everything.

Its simple, really.

Like the first day of school.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

war stories

Well, I dont have any war stories. Unless you count previous marriages.

And theres no way in hell I'm writing anything about that.
So I'm flying home for my fathers funeral. He was 52, and I was 20.
I flew home in full uniform, for a variety of reasons.
On the flight, I met this guy. He was a marine vet from WWII.

He asked me wnat I did, and I said "nothing". I wasnt close to my dad, and I definitely wasnt too sad to talk, but it was just one of those moments.
He told me that he was a prisoner of the japanese in WWII. He then told me that he escaped from them, and made a raft, and floated from the island of corregidor, to Australia.
Some things, I figured, you just didnt lie about. So I believed him. What a story. THIS guy had war stories.
I felt like even more of a nothing. I wondered if my dad felt the same of me.
He wouldnt be found in any forbes magazine with what he did in his life, but he still was my dad, and I always wondered if he thought I was anything at all.

So I'm driving across the Garrison Dam in North Dakota. Its a dam like you cant imagine.

It was late, after midnight (I was fishing) and on one part of the dam that more resembled a bridge, I passed a girl sitting on the railing.

I drove by, then turned around, just because.

I drove back to where she was, and stopped, got out, and sat on the railing with her. Now you have to understand, north dakota isn't pennsylvania, nor like anywhere else, for that matter.

Its desolate, and I was I dont know how many miles we were from the nearest one light town. maybe 50 miles, at least.

Here, in pretty much the middle of the night, was a girl sitting on a railing, overlooking the water.

Didn't add up.

So I stopped and talked for a while.

What can I say, I didnt do the bar scene well, so this was right up my alley.................

Dont remember many particulars. She was nice, pleasant, not depressed at all. Just liked being there, she said.
Ok, thats a particular, but its one that stood out, given everything else.

She assured and reassured me that she wasnt going to do anything stupid, nor did she want a ride to anywhere. She just wanted to be there that night.

What am I, the bridge police? ok, I said, and I left her..

While driving along a ND highway one night, we picked up a LARGE Indian man, and I said to him upon his entering my luxurious Ford Fairlane.......
"Whats up Chief?"

My buddy almost crapped his pants, but the chief just laughed.

"I want a ride tto the bar in town" was his response, and I said "can do".
That was the night, that my buddy who was all shy and stuff with chief hitchiker, said upon walking into some farmer/rancher redneck bar in western north dakota......................
"I smell SHEEP SHIT.........."

Yeah. It was like a John Wayne movie. Chairs flying, air force idiots flying,the whole nine yards.

I remember thinking "what the HELL did you have to say that for"!?!!?

The chief was on our side, at least.
Score one for race relations. He thought it was hilarious that people he was conditioned to hate (government employees) would do something so off the cuff, and that was a good thing.

He was a good friend to have in that situation, he wasw HUGE . I got my bell rung but good that night, but he never gave up, and we had a good laugh afterwards.
Two wing nuts (air force personnel) and a frickin Injun and a bunch of Nodak farmers made friends that night.
It hurt like hell, but we made nice afterwards.

Dont worry, I got back at that dammed southern idiot for making that comment when we walked into that bar......
Johnny rebs are tough, but they're scared as hell of ghosts.....................:-)

So I was driving down the turnpike in Pa, and I see a guy on crutches hitchhiking. Doesnt add up.

So I, we, picked him up. Drove him down to the east/west split, and something told me to ask him if he needed some money, so I did, and he did.

I dropped him off, and when pulling away, I looked in my rearview mirrow, and he wasnt there.

I said to my ex-passenger, "where'd he go!?"

She turned around and looked, and he wasnt there.

Maybe he got another ride in 5 or ten seconds. I dont know.

Didnt add up.

The 60 mile an hour club.

I'm a member. End of story.

Ever see something that froze your feet to the floor in fear?

I have.

Not because I know what I saw, but because I didnt know what it was that I saw.

Whats the most important thing you've done in your life?
The most important thing I think I've done is pull some kid out of a river. Sure wish I knew it was a job possibility 30 years ago. I'd join the coast guard in a heartbeat today if I knew then what I know now...................

I ran over someones car with an armored personnel carrier, too. Not a good move. I singlehandedly enacted a dept of the air force directive ordering all APC drivers to have a spotter behind the vehicle when backing up said vehicle.

So I got that going for me................

Feels like having a disease named after me.

Slipped off a frozen path, and right into the salmon river, in upstate new york.

In february. Water temp was right around 34 degrees, and the air was even colder. I remember when my butt hit the bottom, thinking, "this isn't so bad...............".

When I popped up, I asked a fisherman who was downstream a little, if he could get my hat for me as it floated by.

He did.

It got really cold after that.

Speaking of cold, more about north dakota.

I got lost there once, in a snowstorm.

Theres one place where there is a "forest" in ND, and I was in it. Its called the turtle mountains. Itty bitty foothills, are a better description, but in a state where they have road signs warning of a "turn in the road up ahead", I suppose a itty bitty foothill IS a mountain. (Its REALLY flat and treeless there)

Anyways, I was hunting, or some stupid thing out there by myself in the winter. Now you also have to understand that their winters arent like OUR winters. And I dont CARE where YOU are, their winter is not like your winter. I actually cassette recorded a weather forecast and sent it home, just so people could get a good idea of what it was like. I think the high temp that day, was 30 below, or some such nonsense. I do remember that in my first winter there, we had 30 or sixty days below zero. In a row. Didnt get above zero, that is.

Yeah, so anyways, I come up with the notion that a camping trip (by myself) is a good idea, maybe a hundred or two miles from the nearest one light town. In a state where on the streets in the shopping district in town, are recepticles to plug your cars in to prevent them from freezing solid while you shop. Yeah.

Well I got lost, and couldnt even find my tent with my 30 below sleeping bag.

But wait, theres more.

I shot a few sharp tailed grouse (oh relax, they are as dumb as pidgeons on public square, they NEVER ever see people, let alone fear them). Anyways, I put these grouse outside my little snow cave thingy, and crawled inside for a nice winter's nap.

I guess the scent of sharp tailed groouse travels far, because it wasnt long after dark, that a LARGE pack of coyotes were all around, on top of, and damn near inside, my little piece of the world. Yeah, they were fighting over the birds I hung on a tree branch outside.

But wait,theres more.

Something scared them off. At first, I thought that it was a good thing, but then I figured out that somethng that could scare off a pack of hungry half frozen coyotes might be something to fear myself.

So I started thinking, "hmmmm, what COULD be out there to scare off a half frozen desperate for food, pack of coyotes!?!?!?"

then in the absolute deafening silence, I heard a woman scream, then another.

Oh, you think YOU'VE been scared? I doubt it.

My brain started working shortly after my bowel system stopped, and I remembered that "its a bobcat its a bobcat its a bobcat........................" like that was a good thing.

Well, two, at least, made that sound, and let me assure you, they DO sound EXACTLY like a woman screaming.

Quite unnerving.

Good news, is, I didnt freeze to death that night. The bad news is, I didnt have any birds to eat for breakfast if I did ever find my campsite.

I did find that campsite the next day, and I did stay there for two or three more days (and nights.

Once you make up your mind to do something so stupid, the worst part is really going to the bathroom in the morning.

Trust me on that.

So I could say that I did that too. Camped in ND in the winter.

I HAD to. People told me I couldnt.

So I'm pulling into glacier national park on my motorcycle, and a park ranger/ employee type is stapling up a notice on a bulletin board.

"Whats up?" I ask him. "Oh, we had two campers killed by a bear last night".
Great. Another brilliant idea I had. On the notice he was posting, was an advisory to not have sex in your tent, because it attracts and exites grizzly bears.

Well, I had that going for me too, cuz I was alone. The thought of getting raped and then eaten by a grizzly bear didnt sit too well that night.

Glacier nat'l park is beautiful, but I advise taking an armored RV if you go.

You wont sleep too well if you only have a motorcycle and a one person tent.

Trust me.

Y'know, out west, they have rodeos like we here in NE PA have church bazaars.

Every town has one, and they're an event, just like church bazaars are here.

I learned to stop in these towns, and one time, pitched my tent in a strangers yard. Just because we started talking while enjoying a beer, and watching the local young men and women show their stuff in the ring, and while dong so, the couple invited me to stay there.

People out west are cool. Next time you're at a church bazaar, ask someone there if you could pitch your tent in their backyard, and then see if they make you breakfast and let you shower in the morning. I love the Western U.S., and the people there.

I was tooling down some straight boring highway out there, (hands behind my head, feet on the handle bars, cruise control on), and I noticed flashing lights behind me.


I pulled over, and asked the highway patrolman when he walked up to me, "what'd I do!?!?"

"nuthin" he replied, "I just wanted to look at your bike".

So there we talked, in the middle of nowhere, with western meadowlarks singing. The two of us had a discussion about bikes.

People out west are cool.

Eastern cops are like Hitler yoots.

I accrued a lot of flight time as a hellicopter crew member, and if the pilots like you, you get perks. Pilots talk, I learned.

Free flights home, is one of those perks.

I got to fly home and back 3 or 4 times, for free, on various air force aircraft.

None if it luxury, but the price was right.

And once, I got to lay down in the place where the refueling tech did his/her work, and watch while an SR-71 blackbird pulled up underneath us, to be refueled.

Thats some cool stuff. (see the pic)

The refueling tech told the pilot of the SR-71 that I was a guest there, and who I was (a complete nobody), and the SR-71 pilot wiggled his wings after seperating from us, did a barrel roll, and then shot straight UP, out of sight.

Better than sex, that was to see.

And I got to see it for free.

Right place at the right time. MAN I cant emphasise enough how important that is.

The first time I talked to Rush Limbaugh on his radio show, I relayed a story about something or other, and an uncle in another state heard the call, and ordered one of Rush's ties, and sent it to me.

That was a cool gift.

Right place, right time.

Being in the right place at the right time, is everything, and someday, I imagine I will be at the BIG right place at the right time, and get my "big break".

Until then, you have to suffer all this.

Thank you so much for reading all this nonsense.
And remember, theres always more to the story than what you are told. Even if the one telling you says they have all the facts.

They dont.

You didnt know any of this about me, did you?

they dont know anything either.

Trust me.