Hay Fever Central

Usually the trash truck coming down the road early in the morning, is enough to wake me up.  This morning was distinctly different, I awoke with a gut rendering sneeze.  Then it was off to the races, here come the water-works, the runny nose and the watery eyes, not a whole lot of fun, let me tell you.

In this neck of the woods they have an expression for it, it is called Hay fever, the clinical name is allergies.

Oklahoma weather is some of the most extreme weather in the country, the air this year is either dry as a slice of Texas Toast or so chocked full of humidity that simple chores like breathing are difficult.  Today it is the dry weather and the ragweed and they are eating my lunch.

Often the dues you pay to live in paradise are far much more than what is reasonable.  I think to myself, “I must be built backwards?  My feet smell and my nose runs.”  With no pharmaceutical solutions in the house, I sit here, handkerchief next to my side and work my way thru it.

Are You Taking Anything for It?

A man and a woman were seated next to each other in the first class section of an airplane.  The woman sneezed, took out a tissue, gently wiped her nose, and then visibly shuddered for ten to fifteen seconds.

The man went back to his reading. A few minutes later, the woman sneezed again, took a tissue, wiped her nose, then shuddered violently once more.

Assuming that the woman might have a cold, the man was still curious about the shuddering. A few more minutes passed when the woman sneezed yet again. As before, she took a tissue, wiped her nose, her body shaking even more than before.

Unable to restrain his curiosity, the man turned to the woman and said, “I couldn’t help but notice that you’ve sneezed three times, wiped your nose and then shuddered violently.  Are you OK?”

“I am sorry if I disturbed you, I have a very rare medical condition; whenever I sneeze I have an orgasm.”

The man, more than a bit embarrassed, was still curious. “I have never heard of that condition before,” he said. “Are you taking anything for it?”

The woman nodded, “Black Pepper.”

It’s gonna be a long day today in the Heartland.  Having completely filled one handkerchief and fixing to load up #2, I just cannot get geared up to face the day.

To tell you the truth, I am just not all that hopped up about it at all.  Luck of the draw.

We will see all of you next year.


Swimming Alone

Having just lost about a page of what I considered “good stuff” I will now start over.  Man, I hate it when something like that happens.  It was my best intentions to start out this day on the subject of loneliness and being alone, I thought I had some good things on the page, and then whoosh, it all went south on me.  Now I find myself trying to dredge it all up and get it back on the page, but I know it is fruitless … My first shot is usually my best shot.

Awhile back I wrote something along similar lines entitled MT Mailbox and I have linked that for you.  I find it somewhat disturbing that loneliness and being alone, can sneak up on me like a thief in the night and rob me of my joy in life.  Winter time often does this very thing to me too.

No immediate relief, other than good sippin’ whiskey, I often cannot find a quick easy cure for it.  Possibly it is lack of sunshine and the constant drab of the winter sky or some other factor that I am unaware of.  As I am somewhat of a Were-wolf looney at times, the Holidays have a tendency to drag me down, I am not all that big on celebrating.  I often get lonesome this time of the year, even when surrounded by family and people.  I don’t know why.

I do know this.  Loneliness can wrap you up, as it engulfs your soul, and tears at the fabric of life.  And that it can strike you down no matter how tall you are or where you happen to be standing.

Loneliness knows no geographical boundaries.

I have been lonesome in a country some 18,000 miles away.  I have felt totally alone standing in the midst of one of the biggest cities in the world, New York City.  I have been devastated and alone the day she walked into the room and handed me the papers that said our dream was over and she walked out the door for the last time.

Sometimes when afflicted with this condition of melancholy that comes in and out of my life.  I think of this poor lonely whale that swam up the Hudson River in New York State.  The whale that the New York Times dubbed …. The Loneliest Whale in the World.

Back in 2004, The New York Times wrote an article about the loneliest whale in the world. Scientists have been tracking her since 1992 and they discovered the problem.  She isn’t like any other baleen whale. Unlike all other whales, she doesn’t have friends. She doesn’t have a family. She doesn’t belong to any tribe, pack or gang. She doesn’t have a lover. She never had one.

Her songs come in groups of two to six calls, lasting for five to six seconds each. But her voice is unlike any other baleen whale. It is unique—while the rest of her kind communicate between 12hz and 25hz, she sings at 52hz.

You see, that’s precisely the problem.

No other whales can hear her. Every one of her desperate calls to communicate remains unanswered.  Each cry ignored.  And, with every lonely song, she becomes sadder and more frustrated, her notes going deeper in despair as the years go by.

Just imagine that massive mammal, floating alone and singing—too big to connect with any of the beings it passes, feeling paradoxically small in the vast stretches of empty, open ocean.  It has been said that “art often imitates life“ and I remember a Star Trek Movie with this same theme, coming back to earth in order to save a couple of lost whales.

We spend an inordinate amount of our time, reflecting on how important we are in the grand scheme of things, when in reality, we are for the most part, quite insignificant and small.  And if allowed, I suppose we could find ourselves alone and adrift in a vast sea of humanity.  In other words, we take for granted this thing called life, and we are full up with ourselves.  But the bottom line is we are just another cog in the wheel of the universe and not all that remarkable.

If you can watch this video by the late Carl Sagan and not come away from it feeling humbled my hat is off to you.  It illustrates in a profound way how fragile life as we know it truly is.

Today as I swim thru life, I am going to chart a course that is straight and true, and at the same time, keep a well tuned ear out for another in distress.  If I can somehow help out and bring some hope and sunshine to them in their time of need, then I suppose I have done my job.  If possible I want to be a friend to someone, anyone, that needs someone to fill a void in their life.  Simply because no one in their right mind wants to go thru life swimming all alone.

Thanks for stopping by ……


Racist Okie

Got into what you might call a “spirited conversation” with one of my neighbors.  He seems to think I am racist because I want people to speak English and I don’t think they should be given a driver’s lic. if they cannot speak English or at the very least, be able to read the language.

Because of this disagreement, he tags me a racist, which I don’t think is fair.

Everyone seems to be in such a hurry to scream ‘racism’ these days.

 So, the customer asked, “In what aisle could I find the Polish sausage?”  The clerk looks at him and says, “Are you Polish?”  The guy (clearly offended) says, “Well, yes I am. But let me ask you something. If I had asked for Italian sausage, would you ask me if I was Italian?

Or if I had asked for German Bratwurst, would you ask me if I was German? Or if I asked for a kosher hot dog would you ask me if I was Jewish? Or if I had asked for a Taco, would you ask if I was Mexican?’  If I asked for some Irish whiskey, would you ask if I was Irish?”

The clerk says, “Well, no, I probably wouldn’t!”

With deep self-righteous indignation, the guy says, “Well then, 
why did you ask me if I’m Polish because I asked for Polish sausage?”

The clerk replied, “It’s because you’re in Home Depot.”

Guess it is all in the way you look at things?  I wear quite a few hats, I have been tagged more than once for my views, but racist, I am not.  Oh well, no use diggin’ up a dead-horse to see if it smells bad, let us move on.

I note this morning that everyone seems to be working on New Year’s Resolutions, and writing all about it, the self-appointed Guru’s of the Internet, once again, have it all figured it out.  Some of us who have been around for awhile, can almost see it coming.

There is the Christmas thing.  And then The New Year’s Thing.  The Resolution thing and it goes on and on, almost to the point of being unstoppable.  Might ought to assign it a season of the year, we could call it the “Wordpress.com Silly Season.”

Yeah, that might work.

As for right now, or at least the next four or five days, it is pretty well defined and expected when you come online.  It is all about time.  How much you have left is anyone’s guess, how much of it that is used up is another question, what remains is to be seen  … Use it or lose it is what my Daddy used to say.

2012 is rapidly approaching and is on the horizon as 2011 much like a tired old soldier, slowly fades away.

As for myself, I only make one resolution per year, it is the same old thing year after year.

What is it you ask?

It is this:  “Every year at the beginning of each New Year I make one resolution … to NOT make any resolutions.” 

Sure takes off a lot of the pressure … and I am again “at peace with the world.”

Yeah, sure.

Come on by tomorrow and we will talk about being melancholy and sad at Christmas and the loneliest whale in the world.


More Of What Matters

Christmas officially being retired, it is now time for the annual rush BACK TO THE STORES to fill up on even more crap.  As a matter of fact …. I just got back from the Mall.  The wife did a lot of shopping and I sat in the truck out in the parking lot (evidently security does not allow people to walk around the Mall in their pajamas’?). 

Over the holidays I came across this little thing here, and it just about sums it all up.

The American Dream in Full Swing. 

What was really scary was as I watched it, I saw a lot of myself in this. 

Check it out.


The Day After

Day after Christmas, time to reflect on what was what.  Exciting place for us, all the grandkids under foot and the family unit (such as it is) back in place for a short span of time.  With each year, the meaning of, and the feeling of the holidays change somewhat.  As one year comes to a close, a new year begins, and often, you cannot help but to be a little bit sad.

Sitting in my easy chair, I watch the parade of my life from the curb and clap as it rolls by.  I watch the Ford commercials on television and smile to myself.  Mike Rowe has a better idea.   These new Ford commercials they are running with the Dirty Jobs guy kind of crack me up.  Dirty Jobs on the Discover Channel profiles the unsung American laborers who make their living in the most unthinkable — yet vital — ways.  Our brave host and apprentice Mike Rowe (currently looking for dead fossils in Utah when he is not pimping off half-tons on TV at the Mall) leads us through this process.  On any given day, you will find Mike on the Ford Commercials on just about every television channel you might find.

Doing his level best to pointing out sublime cool neat accoutrements such as cigarette ashtrays and Big Gulper cup holders.

I often get a kick out of these commercials, glued, no riveted to the screen, I watch as Mike goes to the mall and talks about the new Ford automobiles and trucks (Funny but I never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine going to the mall to find a good deal on a truck … what was I thinking?).  With grace and seemingly no work at all, he hawks their apparent advantages to the cost-conscious car buying public.  Tonight he was pushing a Ford pickup on this unsuspecting American pickup buyer and after the spleel, the guy looks at Mike and says …. “Wow!  Where do I get one of these?”

Yes, I know.  Incredible.

(Uh try Big Lots Bucko, they might have one or two models on sale that were left over from Christmas)

Noticing the lights are coming on for the holidays, but it is still daylight, I guess I will have to reset the timer.  After the 21st of the month (first day of winter) the days naturally start to get even longer, such is the case here now.  It cannot be all that far off now, where American Idol will once again be a staple of our viewing fare and our days are spent in the shop sharpening the lawnmower blades in anticipation of spring.

My mind can now reflect on the Christmas that was and work on my new list for next year or other important things.

But there is good news, having stopped the ridiculous snow machine on my webpage and the days being longer, leaves me more time to find and point out the ludicrous things that happen on a daily basis, this process we call … Life.  Things like spending $400 on a battery powered dump truck, extra batteries, a battery charger, wrapping it all up and presenting it to a four year old.

Only to watch him spend the rest of the entire day playing with the box that it came in.

Stuff like that.

2011 has been an eclectic mix of this and that, and like most everyone else, I am not sad to see it leave.  I am in fact, looking ahead with great anticipation to 2012 which is incidentally the last year on the Mayan Calendar.  I am hearing a lot of grousing about “it being finally over” so I feel that I am not alone in my outlook for a New Year.  A fresh beginning, I have always been a sucker for something new.

That is today’s post … a dirty job … but someone has to do it.

yuk-yuk … (Okie Humor)


That’s Life – Keep Swinging


Just in!  Washington D.C.  The Obammer administration today announced the cancellation of Christmas in the Nation’s Capitol.  It turns out after several exhaustive searches it was impossible to locate three wise men or a virgin.  More updates as they become available.  Remember, you heard it here first.

Not being one of these joyous festive folks you find in the stores and malls of America I often sink into some kind of slow moving morass of emotions at this time of the year.  I am not the happy-sappy-jolly old St. Nick type, I am more or less comparable to your typical “stand in the street until I can get the truck started” or “Where is my chainsaw” type of person.  Or as my grand-daughter is quite fond of saying, “Don’t get ugly Grandpa.”

So today my friends, will not be a day of memories made or good things coming your way, it is more than likely just not going to happen.  Falla-Lalla-Oh-ha-ha.  Just this week I received an email that more or less summed it up for me.  When he sent it, the first thing he did was tag it with “I just read this, and could not help but think of you.”

Which also reminded me …. One of these days I need to write a piece on “Self Image.”

I did not write this, but it sure hits close to the house on some notes.  It was entitled “$5.37.”   I found it amusing, so I am passing it on to the rest of you.

$5.37!? That’s what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the hardest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, “It’s OK. I’ll just give you the senior citizen discount.”

I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me. “Only $4.68” he said cheerfully.  I stood there stupefied. I am 56, not even 60 yet? A mere child! Senior citizen?

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me?  I’ll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile.

Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler?  “Dude! Can’t get too far without your car keys, eh?” I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind!

“Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!”

I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn’t turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing.  That’s when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

Then, a few other objects came into focus:  The car seat in the back seat.  Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard.  A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.

Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, “What is the world coming to?”

All I could say was, “Did I leave my food and drink in here”? At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.

Elmo had no clue I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, “I think you left this in my truck by mistake.”  I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.

She offered these kind words: “It’s OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time.”

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40 mph zone. Yessss, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And no, I told the officer, I’m not too old to be driving this fast.

As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blankey.  The good news was I had successfully found my way home.

You guys have a Great Day!  Think of me fondly, sitting here in the basement of life, waiting on the truck to come by, and pump into the upper window a generous dose of sunshine.  If today is for you as it is for me, “a slow day.”  Pass this post on to the other “old fogies” on your mail list.  You might want to use the larger type.  (That’s for those of us who have trouble reading.  And of course, all those other poor souls who get crabby and irritated during Christmas)

Might be time for a small glass of Egg Nog, small dose of nut-meg, sprinkle of cinnamon, little Jack Daniels, warmed for one minute in the Microwave.  A little taste of some holiday cheer the common cure for Holiday Blues.  I guess if everything went my way … it could get very boring very quickly … That’s life.

Have a Great Weekend and Merry Christmas, see you all on Monday