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.

"I'd rather be lucky than good"

Thats one of Yogi Berra's lines. He had a million gems like that. Lines like..........

"This is like deja vu all over again."
"You can observe a lot just by watching."
"He must have made that before he died." -- Referring to a Steve McQueen movie."

"nobody goes there anymore, its too crowded"

Lotta backwards wisdom there.

"I'd rather be lucky than good..."

I've always said there are LOTS of "good" (at whatever they're doing) people out there. But, there are only a few lucky ones. I'd rather be lucky than good. Good is good, don't get me wrong, but lucky is.....well, really good.

Being in the right place, at the right time, usually works out a lot better than being a handy manny type who does everything the old fashioned way. You know, WORKS at it.

So how do you get lucky?

You dont. It gets YOU. I'm not necessarily lucky, dont get me wrong. I said I'd RATHER be lucky than good. Lucky is fun. Lucky is a BLAST, when it works out.

I've been lucky a few times in my life, and I've done things good enough at times to be considered "good" at them, but I'll take lucky anydamnday.

Besides, my tools dont talk to me like Handy Manny's tools do.

The rocks I work with talk to me, (and I've told my boss and a few clients that little tid-bit, and yes I'm stil employed), but I dont have any tools like handy mandy's talking tools. Yet.

Maybe I'll get lucky someday and get some...................

Monday, 24 August 2009

"so you got married over vacation!?"

"Yep. And the metal in my ring matches the metal in the pins in my leg."

Oh like YOU'd have had a come back to that.

I just smiled and thought "you cant make something like that up."

And you can't, really.

Not the innocence of it, nor the truth of it.

As life's choices go, that one is a winner.

Pick a wedding ring made out of the same metal as the stuff that rebuilt your leg.

Yep, thats a good'un.

Profound, to boot, even if you can't spell profound.

A damn lot better than most of my choices, thats for sure.

Like my online search for a new pair of hunting boots. I buy most of my stuff online anymore, so when the "need" arose for a new pair, I started the search online.
I like Dicks Sporting Goods store, so I started there to see what they had to offer.
Well, technically I started with ""
Made sense to me. Any company stupid enough to name itself "dick's" had to have a dot com in there somewhere, right!?!?
Yeah well theres a few other important letters in there too, I found out.
After "" and hitting the enter button, my computer lit up like Village People warm up act.
Big neon flashing letters announced that I had, in fact, found "REAL ASS PUMPING MAN ACTION!!"
My wife looked over my shoulders and asked me,
"what are you doing?"
And I replied "looking for new boots"
She said that that was stupid enough to believe, and
she also said "I dont think they have the kind of boots you like, there".

See what I mean about choices?
I got a thousand examples like that one, and some are a tad bit more embarassing, but you'll have to liquor me up to get them out of me.

A little.

Picking a wedding ring material that matches the pins in your leg is nothing short of genius, by comparison. It took some thinking on my part to come to that conclusion however. On the surface, it made as much sense as most tatoos I see on people's bodies, but theres probably a story behind each one of those, too.
Besides alchohol, I mean.
Speaking of tatoos, I went out for ice cream at a local stand with my daughter katie the other night, and if they had contest there for the person with the least amount of tatoos, I'd have won it going away.
Even the ice cream girls working inside had tatoos.
I stood there feeling so................................


The things people do to get noticed, heyna or no?
Ok, it was west nanticoke, but still its got to be some kind of indication of society's changing standards, right? Right?!
Heres a thought, you want to be noticed?
Drop a hundred and fifty pounds, and wash your frickin hair once in a while, for starters.
Store the spandex until AFTER you lose the hundred fifty pounds, too.

Nose rings, studded eyebrows, "gauges" that resemble....well........big holes in your ear?

Not so much. Lose the tonnage and wash your hair, then get back to me.

I just dont get it, but I'm enjoying being the oddball with no body paint or metal protruding from my head. THATS gotta piss em off. I'M the one who stands out.

Ok, it IS west nanny-coke.

But I'll take it.
Gotta start somewhere.
Might as well be the bottom.

Sure hope nobody from west nanny-coke is a reader.

Yeah, what am I saying.

Think I'll do something really bizarre tonight, like read some shakespeare.
Like Romeo and Juliet................

Sunday, 23 August 2009

I grew up poor

and have been ever since.
So my daughter (10) went to Barnes and Noble with a friend and her friend's mom yesterday.
My daughter, (who is in some ways like me in her resourcefulness), gets to the checkout with the book she wanted, but (also like me) without the necessary cash to finance her desires.......produces a 4 dollar winning lottery ticket to make up for the cash differential.
Her friends mom, after the fact, and in private, laughed about it, as did my wife.
My reaction was a little different, having known and lived the "tough life".
I felt bad for her, and understood how difficult it was for her when she was told that "that ticket wont work here................".
It was all she had, and all she had to offer.
Luckily(?) for her, her friend's mom was (is) a kind hearted sort, and she covered the difference, and my daughter was able (and willing) to "work off" the difference.
A win win for everyone.
Except for "that feeling".

I know "that feeling".
I remember my mom paying for food with foodstamps, and I remember answering the questions from schoolmates "whats your dad do for a living?"
Not a good feeling.

So what IS poor, anyways?
It has little to do with money, that much I know, but it also has everything to do with money, that much I know also.
I've been told by more than a few people, that "you have it all".
Then why do I feel so dammed inadequate?
Why do I, when I describe myself and what I do, feel like a second class citizen?

Is it because I believe I can do more?
Not necessarily make more, but DO more.

I believe I can.
Always have.

Its easier to believe, than it is to DO, that much I know.
But still this "feeling" exists.
Always has.
Having read enough biographies and stories about "successful" people who have followed their dreams (in themselves) and who have done what their heart told them is their destiny, I understand this road is not easy, nor guaranteed. And that most successful people have had experts tell them that they (the dream holders) are as wrong as wrong gets, in their dreams and beliefs.
So much for experts.
All I have to go on, is this belief.
This "feeling".
More than a feeling really. Much more.

Its an all encompassing belief, a consuming, unquenchable, illogical knowledge that there IS more, and that there WILL be more, to this existance. Specifically, mine, as selfish as that sounds. (what, a site about what I feel and think isnt selfish enough!?!?)

Its always been there.

Always, but moreso now.

I believe I'm poor, because I'm not doing what I was born to do, whateverthehell that is, yet.

Poor is a sate of mind, but also a state of being.
Not a "woe is me" thing, but rather a "what the hell?" thing.

I've driven up to work THOUSANDS of times, and repeated the sesame street song "one of these people doesnt belong here......." on at least half of them.

No, really, I physically and out loud, sang that song as I drive up to work.

So I'm not "there" yet, but maybe neither are you.
Thats ok, because its all about the journey, right?


Lets hope so.

Its all I got at this point.

See you at work tomorrow.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

..That was F-dash-dash-dash-ing AWESOME!

Why thank you.

So was your timing in saying that.

To all of you clueless readers, THAT was how you compliment a wanna be writer/dirt merchant.

And the kicker was, saying it in a parking lot full of other dirt merchants, who's heads nearly Linda Blair'd off their shoulders when they heard her say that to me.

Eatchur heart out.

There was a time I would have preferred it to mean what the other dirt merchants thought it meant.
But not now.
Having people like to read these silly stories is, well, nice.
Yeah I know, Writer wanna bes have to come up with better words than "nice".
Not always.
Its like vanilla ice cream. Its only boring to people who cant appreciate vanilla. Vanilla, is luscious. Quietly delicious, unlike chocolate or rocky road which shouts "lookit me!!!!"
I like quiet.
I like nice.

F-dash-dash-dash AWESOME aint so bad either, sometimes.

Funny how words affect us, isnt it? Powerful things, words.
Said by the right people, they can be exhilarating, and said by the right people, they can be crushing. Like a sword plunged into your midsection.
Sometimes inadvertently, sometimes accidently on purpose.
I try to not do the sword plunging stuff, unless you do something stupid like post that you give Obamas health care reform a big ole thumbs up.
Oh, and you're my wifes uncle.
Then I go for the biggest, sharpest sword I can grab as fast as I can grab it.
Cant help it, stupid does that to me.
Gee, the in law family reunion will be difficult next time around..........................(relax, none of them read this...)

Evidently, I'm not doing a good enough job ignoring current events if one stupid comment sends me off.
Gotta try harder.
A LOT harder.

To ignore, I mean.
In the meantime, I'll concentrate on "nice" comments of people I respect, as opposed to stupid comments from people I dont worry about too terribly much.
Focus on the positive, and ignore the negative. The negative will run through you like a sword if you let it.
Yeah, thats my plan.

F-dash-dash-dash-ing awesome.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Happy's Salad

So Happy (my youngest little princess whose actual name is Carie)comes in the house, after picking some veggies from the garden.
In her hands, is a small cucumber, and two tomatos held right under it.

She proudly presents what she's picked, and then asked me, "do you know what this is called?"

I said, "the question is, happy, do YOU know what thats called?"

she said it was a salad.

I said perfect, and she should call that configuration a salad until she was 40.
She laughed, but she didnt know why.
I have that effect on females, y'know.
Funny how two people can see the exact same thing, and come up with two completely (bizarre) interpretations.
Part of the journey, I suppose.

So theres this guy at work.
Seinfeld could make another billion with some of the stuff I see up there.
This guy makes...well...ME look suave.
Shuffles his feet when he walks and eminates loud noises from all ends, just because he can.
Ok, enough praises.
So the other day, he comes off with,
"I cant work with those college kids, theyre GAY and keep looking at my ass."

Now let me assure you of two things.
A: I'm not gay (not that there is anything wrong with that), and
2: Not a gay guy on the PLANET, would ever look at that guy's ass. Not even on
Gay Planet of the Apes. But thats not how he sees it.
Thats interpretation for ya.

Remember I told you my boss was all micro micro manage and hyper focused and all? Remember how I told you I say things like "just grab me by the shoulders and point me in the general direction....?"

You thought I was kidding, didntcha?
If he had a drinking problem, it'd pretty much be my fault.

I used to work with one guy a lot, and he would get mad at me, because I would do all kinds of prep work, never measure or check grades or level or anything, until I was done, and every time, it would come up darn near dead nuts on.
I have all kinds of devices and transits and levels and whatchamacallits, but just for giggle-value, I didnt use it.
Just surf through it, using The Force.

He'd get mad. All the time. Always ask me "why do you bring all this stuff!?"
I said "to impress the customer. People need to be impressed if theyre spending money"

But back to my boss.
Know how he sees the last project?
Well, I dont either, but it aint happy, thats for sure.
Know how I see it?
A 12 day job, done in 9, with at least 3 days less machine time than the bid called for.
AND, I saw some stuff that needed to be done, and got that done ahead of the original bid, too.
I'd say that was a success, wouldn't you??

Yeah well, its all about the interpretation, isn't it?
Must be the hyper focusing stuff he has to deal with.
We 30,000 feet people cant focus too well. Too many shiney objects to distract us.
And all it takes is one to make everything go kablooey.

Want to know what I think? (thats a stupid question, isnt it? I mean youre here reading this, arentcha?)
I think if you hyper focus, you cant see all the shiney objects on this planet. I think hyper focusing will get you rewards, but at a helluva price.
I'm pretty sure he feels exactly the same thing, except opposite, from his point of view.
I dont know. Its not like we sit and chat a lot.

I come down to earth to focus every once in a while, but the view is so nice from up here where you can see everything, that I dont want to stay focused too long.

Theres a lot to see, and if you focus too much on anything, you'll miss some pretty incredible things right before your eyes.

Like Happy's Salad.

Just don't goof things up just by looking at them wrong. Maybe they are beautiful, but you just see them wrong.

Friday, 7 August 2009

"Hello, I'm listening....."

Thats a line from "Frazier" when he would take callers on his radio advice show.

Anyone believe I SHOULDN'T have a talk radio show!?

Well, that makes one of you.

Two, actually.

I've been petitioning, harassing, badgering, and belittling, the local talk radio station manager-ette for some time now. Well, I did anyways.

Yeah, that last word in the group probably sank my hopes, but she was getting on my nerves after a year or six. I can't help it when a woman doesn't recognize genius when its staring her in the (pretty lil ole) face.

Back when I used to care about politics and such, I was all fired up to get on air and yak about everydamthing they were yakking about.

Not so much anymore. Truth be told, I haven't listened to talk radio in more than a month.

Or two.

I can't remember.

I have a new philosophy.

Are YOU listening?

"Its all over save for the big white flash"

Go ahead and quote me on that.

A friend whom I haven't talked to in months stopped by tonight, and she wasn't aware of my new "self". She made a comment about our benovelent leader, and I just *blink*, said nothing.


Just yesterday, I was looking up in the sky, when that machine operator (who already thought I was a tad bit odd) asked me "whatcha lookin' at?"

I looked up at a newly made letter "H" in the sky, looked at him, looked at the "H" (that was the only thing in the sky), looked at him, and said,


"I don't see no birds", he said.

"They're gone now". What, YOU would try to explain that 3 jets just made a letter H in the sky, and the possible reasons for doing so!?!?
"I cut grass......................"

Nobody was listening, and apparently telling people didnt get results, so what the frick. At least some people chuckle at this stuff.
Thats a plus.

I still want a radio show though. It can't be any worse than getting dirty and tired every day.
I could do the dirty and tired stuff as a hobby.
Hobbies are good. I think.
Or not. I don't need no stinkin' hobbies.
I need something more. I need everything.

And a radio show.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


You know you're in for it when the guy sent to help you do your job, says this sentence.......
"Am I here to rip out these stupid looking rocks?"

That might not be a deal-breaking phrase, if you hadn't spent the past two days installing those stupid looking rocks.
Not everybody sees things as we see them.
I've been working with machine operators long enough to know two things.
They can do their job better than I can.

The end.

Machine operators arent exactly a romantic artsy-fartsy bunch, if you know what I mean.
Getting "Scary" or "the Shirt Nazi" or Bill (no, thats not a real name, thats an acronym for Brother In Law), to understand WHY the rock HAS to be tilted "just so" is a difficult task.
Even worse, when you can hear him on his nextel radio saying to the other not so artsy fartsy people he talks to "yeah, I'm stuck here puttin deese stooput friggin rocks in dis stooput dirt like da guy wants me to. I said we should just make a friggin wall, but hes a goddam goofball who wants to do it all crooked and stuff..."

Ah hell, I dont mind anymore.

My boss should give me a raise just for dealing with all this.
He gets to be all artsy fartsy with the clients and the architects, and I gotta DO the artsy fartsy stuff, with guys who think artsy fartsy stuff is gay (not that theres anything wrong with that.............).
AND, I do it with Frank Sinatra or Michael Buble on my MP3.

Oh, you should have seen the guy rip his nextel out when I told him I was listening to Michael Buble'. I think he sprained his wrist................

The operator is good at what he does.
And......................if you need some really big rocks put in your yard, to look like they were put there by glacier movments, and if you can tolerate some goofy (albeit strangely attractive) guy waving at maching operators telling them...............
"NO! 6 inches THIS way!!!"

Then I'm your guy.
Hey. Theres a nitch.

For whatever reason, I'm doing what I'm doing. Mostly I'm assuming its for not finishing college but all other things being considered, we're doing ok here.

I gave up trying to explain to family and relatives and friends at parties and social gatherings, so
"yeah, I cut grass" is what I tell them.
What, you think Joe the computer programmer can comprehend that someone pays me to stands in their yard and put rocks there!?
Yeah thats it.
Trust me, its easier to say "I cut grass"

But I really like meeting artsy fartsy types.
For a few reasons.
Mainly, because most artsy fartsy types are women,and if you scroll back to the hockey locker room joke, you'll understand what that means.
Secondly, because I can finally TALK to them about STUFF.
Stuff we can relate to.
Its hard to relate to people who respond to your words with *blink*. Machine operators blink a lot.
I bet accountants blink like a frickin strobe light.

I kinda stare off into the distance.
Especially when my boss is talking to me.
But thats a different kind of blink.
Poor guy (my boss, I mean).
Imagine yourself being in a position of responsibility and reputation, and having some (albeit strangely attractive) goofball staring off into the distance watching butterflies or chemtrails or whateverthehell shiny object happens to flutter into his mind, be the ONLY thing between YOU, and the clients check!?!?
He gets all detailed and specific and stuff, and I tell him, "just grab me by the shoulders and point me in the general direction......................."
You'd think after 20 some years, he'd get it by now. Nope. Fat chance. He's STILL trying to get me to be "normal".

No, we are what we are, and the best we can hope for is for some reluctant machine operator, to say at the end of the day,
"hey, I hope I can do this again sometime. I get what you are doing now, and its pretty good............."

I'm telling you, rewards NEVER come when of from where you are expecting them.

But they come.

"thats what she said..."

"boy that was quick"

"I only ran for a mile tonight. I was going for speed, not endurance".

"What the hell are you planning to do with THAT!?!?

(I bought another gun)

"hey you know what you havent done for 2 days!?"

" its been a lot more than that, but thanks for your concern............."

"you havent written anything".

"Oh yeah. That too. Hey, they might not be mutually exclusive..........................."

Women can be funny without even trying.

They can be a lot of things without really trying.

Like rulers of the world. Good thing they don't realize that one.

Guys are dopes. Alright alright stop the cheering. Admitting it isn't the same as liking it.
Most guys try and be all tough and distant and non-communicative, but in truth, its because we're too goddam stupid to do anything else.

What, you think I'm kidding?
Women OWN us. Can get us to do ANYTHING. They just don't know it. Oh sure, some THINK they know it, but it usually backfires on those types.

Find the guy who would fall on a sword, eat tofu, or even wear a goddam seatbelt, for his woman, and then find HIS woman, and talk to HER.
She'll tell ya.
Men are dopes, and you own em.

She told me as much.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Little Things.

Yeah I know, everybody says they run, or used to run.

I used to. A LOT.

Run, I mean. I also used to run with people who say they run, and I used to run ahead, then run back to them to say hi, then run ahead, then run back, then run get the idea.

I haven't run in over 20 years.

Jeeze, that sounds old.

I haven't run for 20 years.

Until tonight.

My 12 year old said he's interested in running track in his 7th grade year, and I said "neato".

Lets go for a run.

Why not? I just bought a real pair of real running shoes and everything.

Remember the "not running for 20 years thingy"?

It matters.

But its no worse than running in boots with a pack, that sucked too, and it got less suckey with each run.

This will too, and especially since I have even more motivation than I've ever had.

I get to teach someone, my son, something.

Like what my 92 year old neighbor taught me on our walk.

Not something like "siddown son, and I'll teach you some of my wisdom".

Instead, I'll teach him that fathers and sons can sweat, pant, and enjoy a very desolate, very quiet road, together.

Little things.

Little things are all that matter. They are the things we remember forever, while everyone else is trying to get us to focus on the "big" things.

Whats your best childhood memory?



Its lightning bugs and playing hide-and-go-seek at night, right!?!?

It is for me anyways.

And I suspect it is for most of us.

Pay atention to the little things. Dont plan for them, because that automatically turns them into big things.

Just pay attention to them.

They're all that matter, and all that people judge us by.

And love us for.

Do the little things.

Let the experts worry about the big things.

They probably never even caught a lightning bug.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Casual Observations

I took about a hockey teams' amount of my kids berrry picking the other day, and on our way we stopped at my 92 year old neighbors house to see if she'd like to tag along.
The trek only involves walking along the road that bisects her farm, so its an easy walk, even for this 92 year old.
Unfortunately for us, the local township road maintenence crew (I named them gear duct and crow bar, which is an obscure old movie reference) cut down all the roadside berry bushes this year.
I guess there's a new township ordinance stating that pleasant fruit producing shrubbery are now considered Fauna non-gratia. Oh well, it was a pleasant day for a pleasant walk and conversation.
We got to the end of the flat, field framed part of the road, and my neighbor asks "do you want to look on the state forest land?"
Now, the forest road is pretty much up and down, and just a logging trail, not paved or even smooth, but I said "if you feel up to it..".
So we headed up, but first we had to get around the gate at the entrance.
Its ok to walk on the state forest, but they gated it off to keep the quads and four wheel (fat lazy individual transportin) type vehicles off the land.
I walked around the gate and said "Leona, come around here so you...."

And before I get the sentence out, my 92 year old neighbor limbos under the bar like a softened up co-ed on spring break.
Well, that might be a stretch, but not much of one.
I stood there with my mouth agape for a second. 92. Holding a cigarette.

My inspiration.

Bacon, eggs, meat and potatos and an occasional drink of wine.................and she smokes.
She grew up drinking the milk from the cows, which used to be kept in the "cellarway" in a galvanized bucket. Medicinal remedies for things like cuts, abrasions, and bad sprains, were "go across to the barn and get some fresh cowflop". No kidding.
And she smokes.
I smoke cigars, mostly on weekends and mostly in the warmer months, and I understand that they (like not wearing my seatbelt) involves risk, but........................

My point is, and as we walked along the trail and talked and while I noticed that neither me nor the kids had to slow our pace, this lady is mentally AND physically fit.

And she is my inspiration in some ways.
Everyone, especially those in my middle aged group, seem obsessed with stuff like "taking care of ourselves". Of COURSE its smart. Of COURSE its the wise thing to do, but again, I cant help but see the image of the 92 year old dipping and ducking under that bar.
And everything that goes with that.
A 92 year old, who while 88, was bit by a frickin copperhead snake while walking in one of her fields, and had to be life-flighted off her farm and whisked to Danville, because the local rattlesnake round up had created a void of snake anti venom in our area.
A 92 year old who went from a one room schoolhouse "up da road" to college, to heading a department at the Pentagon, to being a business woman in Philadelphia, and owning a condo in Rittenhouse square there.
And back to the farm. She has fascinating stories, and most of them are about not much at all.

So thanks for the health related suggestions, but............................
NO, I'm not going to give up cigars, and my red wine like my guns, are going down with me for the final count.
You worry and manage for the two of us.

My cholesterol will be managed the good old fashioned way.

It wont.

Life is so complicated.

I just want to be able to limbo under gates when I'm 92.

you just never know where its all going to end up

We had a pretty good plan all worked up for our mascot the kitty.
One of the guys I work with, has a something-in-law who works at a vets office, and that someone was going to provide the necessary (FREE) medical care for the kitty, if I took her home.
The very day we were going to enact operation Lumpy-Extraction, the owner's daughter came out and said "Oh I took the kitty to the vet, and then I'm going to give it to a friend of mine who just had to put her cat down.........."
So this kitty who started life alone and flying through the air in the talons of a hawk, really DOES end up in a palacial setting, eating fancy feast out of crystal goblets.
Go figure.
But wait.................there's MORE!

So my kids are playing rescue ranger in the yard, and Casey (in the pic) comes running up to me and saying

So my wife goes into the brushpile where the kitty noises were emanating from (what, you think I am going in there!?!?!? There might be a frickin SPIDER in there!!!)

And there was. Is. Another kitty, I mean.
Ferrel!?!? About as wild as.....well.........a kitten. My wife reaches into the brushpile and extracts the source of the meeow-ing, and like a magician, pulls a kitty out of the mess.
This thing in 2 minutes is purring and playing with the family (not my) yip-yip dog, and cuddling up to the kids like its been here forever. Well, technically, it HAS been here for ITS forever......but not around us.

I dunno. I give up trying to plan and figure things out.
Not like I was ever a list maker, anybody who knows me knows I usually fly by the seat of my pants, but this is getting obvious now. It seems the more I plan, the less it works out. Heckuva philosophy, I know.
Far be it for me to argue with the obvious cosmic scheme of things, right?

Surf. When the wave comes, jump on it, and ride it out.

Funny how things work out.

Kitty mascot has a better home than I could ever hope to give it, kids have the kitty-pet I said there were going to have, and the yip-yip dog has something that makes it feel large and imposing.

Oh, and I didnt get bit by another frickin spider.