Shoppin With Boxcar

Man-Man, come on Spring Time!  It is time for a Road Trip

I want to run away! Where is the chocolate milk and the Oreo cookies, please placate my spirit, I am drowning here and I don’t know what to do.  Whisk me off my tired old feet … Take me away to the beach, where I meet beautiful people, who appreciate me and respect me for my feelings. A place noticeably void of barking dogs. Sirens. Road Rage, where folks genuinely smile, who wave at you with all of their fingers …

A place of spirit engaging mystery … A place where sometimes, during the middle of the day, I would be allowed to lie down for a nap, for no apparent reason. Or perhaps sneak down to the local watering hole for a much needed, albeit ill advised Margarita. Some idle conversation with a beautiful, well tanned, interesting woman, walk barefooted in the sand.

Road trip!  Time to get out of town, new sites, new faces, new places.  I hear Kenny Rogers has a new album out at the Old Cracker Barrel stores, fifty-years in the making!  Who can resist a acquisition of music treasure like that?  (Plus Chicken & Noodles to boot!)  Personally I am all into Carrie Underwood, but at my age, well, you know the drill.  “You take what it is that you can get … and then quietly fade into the background.” (Hey kids, someone wake up Grandpa and tell him it is time to eat, that kind of thing)

Mama comes into the room and announces to no one in particular her intentions concerning the weekend.  She says “I want to go shopping” … and I of course find myself on-board … Sign me up on the dotted line.  So Friday night, with almost laser guided focus, we cut and run south towards the Red River and that state line.

Let’s go shopping!  I quickly agree.

You see, I know the rules of a happy life, and that is mainly this.  “A happy wife equals a happy life.” At this point I should interject that I am a happy, happy man.  Having learned a long, long time ago, it is not always a smart thing to do, irritating the cook and all.

So I quickly answer up in the affirmative, “Uh how about Dallas?  That sound good to you?” Make the smart move, NASCAR runs every week this time of the year, it is no big deal.  Masculine Rule of Life:  “A wise man, never wakes his second sleeping baby just to see it smile. “ (Be agreeable, or lie down on the floor and play dead … but be advised, trust me, that one never works).

Most people go out on Friday night, find a suitable honky-tonk, get drunk and be somebody.  We on the other hand, happily basking in what the media calls our “golden years” we go shopping.  Pulling up, locking the front gate … We are off and running.

Dallas is a big city, and they have numerous places to go shopping. Fortunately they also have a lot of Wi-Fi hotspots and I am finding it relatively easy to transmit data into cyberspace. Much like Robbin Williams in the not so recent DVD movie “RV,” all I have to do is just stand on top of our bus … Nah, I am pretty sure you are not buying that one are you?

Burger King, Denny’s, recently even McDonald’s came of age, a lot of places have free Wi-Fi now. The computer era, isn’t it swell. If you don’t know how to do it, just ask one of your grand kids.  I saw my first honest to goodness three-D television this weekend, what is the world coming to.

Almost the middle of the month and we are not broke, despite the best efforts of Big Oil to strangle us, we have a little left over.  Ideally we found ourselves with a little extra scrilla in our pockets, so she decided that shopping would be the endeavor for the day.  (Oh by the way?  Kids refer to money as scrilla these days, if y’all aint hip, it surely isn’t my fault)

“Yo Mama got mad scrilla. We’re gonna rock the mall later.”
So we set out in earnest and during the course of the day, ended up walking some five different Malls.  Or as My wife is fond of saying — We Shop Until We Drop — a kind of “take no prisoners attitude that I surely do not adhere to or understand.“

Even now, much later, I do not know what it was that we were shopping for.

Shopping for me is never that great, and I usually wear out early, the whining factor comes into play much sooner these days than it did in my younger years. Often in complete desperation I will pull out my cellphone and have “fake very loud conversations with our non-existent children” in order to embarrass her and make her take me home.

“Shoppin with Boxcar is often not pretty.”

I just don’t seem to have the stamina for it, I am not the “shop until you drop” type face it. I don’t know what it is, but I can never find what it is that I am looking for. On the other hand, when we do go on these sojourns into the marked down 50%-merchandise world, she will always find several items that catch her fancy. I on the other hand, will search in complete desperation, every hall, every wing, every level of each mall and never find what it is that I set out to find.

Such is my burden in life to carry.

Never do I stop to realize and admit that, often, the fantasy of something different is a lot better than the reality of something different. So, we walk and we walk, and we walk some more. The concrete is mostly unforgiving on an old geezer like me and late in the afternoon my hips are tired, my back isn’t doing much better and I have “attitude.”

Like I said earlier … Shopping with Boxcar is not pretty nor is it fun.

Time to close, I have rambled on far too long.  So long from America’s Heartland, El Reno, Oklahoma, where the Twisters make lazy circles in the sky, and the wind lifts up red dust to get in your eye, a slow paced sort of place where we don’t drive on the shoulders and do our best to follow the right path.

One last thing boys … Take my advice, “If the little woman asks you to go shopping or do you want to take a pass and not go?” Take the high road, nod your head in silent agreement and then stay home.  It is always best to leave the shopping to the Pro’s.

Friday have a great weekend, it is still YOUR choice, enjoy.  Life is short*.


* Now wasn’t that refreshing …. There is twenty-one minutes of your life, you will never get back.

Refilling the Coffers

033009Figured on starting out with a article on terrorism this morning, but I lost the draft, and since I cannot produce the body of work that I desire.  I have to go to the old time stand-by that always seemed to fit the bill.

George Dubya Bush.

There is an old saying that goes something like, “Politicians are clearly out of touch with the working man and far removed from the norm of society.” I am pretty sure that this would apply to Ex-Presidents.  Mr. Bush, having just recently returned from a whirlwind tour of Canada to replenish the family coffers would come under this heading.

Last I heard, the media was reporting that he left Washington DC with an accumulated wealth of some $21 million dollars.

So for lack of something better, I find myself reading this article in the Dallas Daily that says Mr. Bush is replenishing the family stocks in this apparent time of need.  Feeling a “need to replenish” when you are sitting on a mountain of cash is somewhat out of touch.  Clearly this is out of sync with the rest of the country who at last count was suffering terribly just trying to put groceries on the table.

Mr. Bush started out in March in Calgary Canada on his first speaking engagement since leaving the presidency, most of his speeches were for small business groups.  His goal is ten speeches per year.  Which to most would seem achievable or a somewhat trivial goal.  But most have never seen Mr. Bush give a speech or a lecture.  This will be a formidable challenge for him, just lining up ten locations that are willing to sit thru one of these.

His presentations have the theme of a doorstop that could talk kind of feel to them.

Now for the poor working stiff, just imagining a life with $21 million in assets is a big stretch, unless you are a recent lottery winner.  I cannot imagine how it would feel to think “I was in need of cash, while sitting on a financial base as Mr. Bush apparently has.” Insecurity must be playing in this heavily and thus, the apparent need to hit the trail and get on the stumping path across North America.

Calgary today, Saskatchewan next, Bakersfield and Modesto … the family coffers are low … and the sky is the limit.

They say a wise man knows his limitations and I assume this is why the Ex-President is now back in Dallas and said to be writing some 1,500 words per day (now there is a spelling checker that is getting a workout).  He is writing this for his memoir, which will explain how he decided to send troops to Iraq.  His response to Hurricane Katrina, the formation of his stem-cell policy, and his relationship with his father.

After this he is scheduled to open his “library of freedom” in Texas, where rumor has it, he will “rewrite history” (as Mr. Bush see’s it).  Might be a good idea, I hear that libraries are the only place in America that are still lending.

As for today, he seems to be content to sit in his little bungalow in Dallas, rewriting the past.  Waxing nostalgic is like a grammar lesson.  You find the present tense, but the past perfect.  Which will be right in character for this man.

I suppose there will be a lot of media hoopla about this library of freedom project to open in the near future, perhaps maybe even a contest of sorts.  The X numbered visitor will receive a prize or something like that.

Grand prize?

How about a foreclosed Condo in Florida with a repo’ed GM Hummer on the driveway … that would be appropriate don’t you think?


“The cartoon courtesy of Center for American Progress” (online)

Movin’ On

112508In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, Karl Rove applauds Barack Obama’s appointment of a “first-rate economic team,” cheering the selections of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers, Council of Economic Advisers chief Christina Romer, and OMB head Peter Orszag.

Man, if Karl Rove likes it then we are really in trouble.

Internet is abuzz with Obama news this morning, believe it or not, some folks actually advocating that Bush step down now and turn it all over to the new elect.  Thank goodness we have a system of rules and stop-gap measures in place, for people like this.

Your turn is coming, be patient.

Having visited Washington DC twice in my lifetime I did come away with one observation.  Washington has a lot of one-way streets.  Never could figure it out, then one day it occurred to me.  “This is so the bunch leaving, won’t be running into the new bunch coming in.”

Pretty smart planning.

President Bush recently told staffers at a meeting at the White House that “he understood how difficult it would be for them to move, locate new employment, and get on with a new life.  He said that he felt their concerns.”  He is however, in considerably much better shape, leaving Washington with estimated assets of some $21 million dollars.  He also said that he would be “bored” living on his 1,500 acre ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Ranch?  The Ponderosa was a ranch, I never understood that Crawford, Texas ranch observation at all.

The Crawford spread surely doesn’t fit the definition of “ranch” I have never observed any livestock of any kind on it, don’t believe it grows anything other than brush and chainsaws.  At least Ronald Reagan had a horse or two around for him and Barbara Walters to ride.  The “ranch in Crawford” is reminiscent of all those old Hollywood movies where they show the home of the cattle baron bad guy, and you hear all of these cows in the background lowing (moo’ing) but you never actually see any of them.

Bush the impossible dreamer has another iron in the fire now.  He is now dreaming of setting up “A Fantastic Freedom Institute” (his words not mine) to promote democracy around the world, no word on which country they plan on invading in order to pull of this lofty goal.  Stay tuned, when we hear where it is located, we will let you know.

One thing for sure, he said it is not Cleveland.

It is all kind of moot anyway, “he won’t know until Cheney tells him.”  He also said that “he would be giving some speeches, to replenish the coffers.”  Now there is a definite yawner there, that is like paying for tickets to see the Partridge Family in concert ….. Pass.

We haven’t had a “class act” president in a long, long time.  Mr Obama is now our present hope.

The last president we had that had a modicum of good taste or class would be (this is my opinion) Harry Truman.  Nowadays presidents line up on the speaking tour circuit, it is lucrative and of course there is the “presidential library gambit” which provides a neat, legal avenue for the rich to funnel money to ex-presidents without reporting the stipend to anyone.

That works out just swell and the majority of the outgoing presidents have taken advantage of it.

When Harry S. Truman, left the White House, he had to take out a bank loan to tide him over in private life.  He had no official government income or support except for his Army pension of $112.56 a month.  Yet he turned down every lucrative consulting engagement, and tidy-sum endorsement offer that came his way.  When asked about it, he replied, “I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respectable, that would commercialize on the prestige and dignity of the office of the presidency.”

But that is back when our leadership had a moral conscience, direction and backbone.  All we have now is a bunch of pandering clowns with their hands out headed for the next free $1,000 a plate fund raiser and book signing.  Which is kind of sad, for the dignity of the office and the country as a whole.

A Fantastic Freedom Institute, that is a real hoot.

This from another elected political thug in a long line that has made the name America as Tom Hetland said in his book “synonymous with Viet Nam, Watergate, Iran-Contra, the toppling of El Salvador, Allende in Chile and now Iraq, Afghanistan and Guanta’namo. A dark twisted country that sends its best men off to die.”

Needlessly sacrificed in parts of the world most folks cannot locate on a map.  All in the name of democracy … War is good business … Invest your kid.  Just go home Dubya and be quiet, we are all tired of your speeches and policies that emptied our coffers, and killed the best of our sons.

Some eight years ago, America welcomed Mr. Bush with open arms in Philadelphia to the strains of “God Bless The USA” by Lee Greenwood.  As he leaves I am reminded of a John Lennon song, “Imagine.” Imagine there’s no Heaven, it’s easy if you try, no hell below us, above us, only sky.  Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill for or die for and no religion too. You can play it over and over in the elevators of your new Fantastic Freedom Institute, a good anthem for you.

It is time to bring the troops home each and everyone of them, and it is also time for you El President’e , El Majordomo, to just move on.


The cartoon courtesy of Center for American Progress” (online)

Chummin The Waters

Down Girl … Down!

With his electoral prospects fading by the day, Senator John McCain has fallen out with his vice-presidential running mate about the direction of his White House campaign. McCain has become alarmed about the fury unleashed by Sarah Palin, the moose-hunting “pitbull in lipstick”, against Senator Barack Obama. Cries of “terrorist” and “kill him” have accompanied the tirades by the governor of Alaska against the Democratic nominee at Republican rallies.

Mark Salter, McCain’s long-serving chief of staff, is understood to have told campaign insiders that he would prefer his boss, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, to suffer an “honorable defeat” rather than conduct a campaign that would be out of character – and likely to lose him the election.

“Some will say, jeez Sarah, it’s getting negative. No it’s not negativity. It’s truthfulness.” The crowd bellowed its appreciation with chants of “Nobama” and “Go Sarah Go!” Meanwhile back at the cabin, ninety miles from Russia …. Look kids … Mommies’ on TV!

All Juiced out

OJ Simpson is still locked down in Sin City, Las Vegas, after recently losing his court battle, some say he should have played the “race card” and he said that he would have, but the Obammer crowd was already using it.  The New Jersey Hall Of Fame is open now, some of the exhibits are Jack Nicholson, Bon Jovi, and some dude named Vinny.

Thanks … But No Thanks

Laxatives at dinner, drinking vinegar and electric shock treatment… Welcome to extreme spa detox. Anna Pasternak spends a week extreme detoxing. Here she reveals the results As a spoiled spa junkie, I’ve pretty much covered the whole global gamut: ayurvedic abhyanga (oily massage) in the Alps, Chi Nei Tsang (deep and delicate abdominal delving) in Thailand and shamanic stuff in the States.

Man, you have to be kidding me. I think I would rather be fat and lonely than do this. This is worse than my last job at Weight Watchers. Yeah, no joke. I got $8.40 an hour just to stand in the corner, and the instructor would point at me and yell …. If you keep eating Twinkies girls … THIS is what you will look like! Read the entire story here.

Keeping Track

Last week’s papers were full of Hazel Wheeler, and her amazing life story. In 1941, aged 14, Wheeler found a blank diary in her parents’ attic. She then went on to post an entry every day, without exception, for the next 67 years. Now that is what you call discipline, eh?

The main joy for the press has been that, in the past 67 years, there has been no global event – however cataclysmic – that didn’t take second place to Wheeler’s reports on her knitting, baking, or domestic arrangements.

Actual entry: “President Kennedy was assassinated as he drove through Dallas today. Shot through the head. Baked macaroons and scones. Did knitting”

Now who says “Politics’ are important in America?”


Related:  Baracks House

The Friendly Skies

Man you just got to love the state of California.  What a wondrous, amazing place.  It is no small wonder that Michael Jackson chose California for his “Never-Never-Land Ranch.”  It is like a Granola bar, what aint fruits is nuts.  They just passed a resolution in that state that a “dog can no longer be a co-pilot in an automobile.” 

Please take a moment now, to sit back and think about this, and just try and imagine how the average tax-payer in California feels about his/her highly paid elected representative when he finds out about this.  Not much would be my first guess.  Not allowing dogs to be co-pilots?  How absurd is that? 

Oh well, back to MY reality, Oklahoma. 

Not long ago, police found a body, wrapped and bound in chains, hanging from a tree.  They said that “they suspected foul play.”  Do you think so?  These people are out there, and they walk amongst us (some are even procreating, if that don’t give you a shiver up your spine, nothing will).

One other thing, if an Oklahoma Highway Trooper stops you on the Turner Turnpike and asks you, “Do you know why I stopped you?”  Don’t under any circumstances reply with:  “Uh, I dunno.  Don’t have any coffee or do-nuts.”  That will cost you $130 … Speed cop Smokey-Bear public safety enforcement officers in Oklahoma apparently don’t seem to have a sense of humor at least not on the turnpike between Tulsa and Stroud.

Moving swiftly along. 

My daddy used to say, “Don’t take no knife to a gunfight.”  Naw, I believe the exact quote was “You are so stupid, YOU would take a knife to a gunfight.”  I always considered this one of those archaic statements that fathers were prone to say.  Much like when your mother said to you, “Because I am your mother, that’s why!”  Stuff like that. 

For years (or at least until I was twelve or thirteen) I always thought it was kind of corny but this week I read about a guy in Montana that did this very thing.  He and another guy were “goofing around” when this bozo took out a knife and said he was going to “shave his buddy.” 

Evidently his buddy had some kind of terrible fear of being shaved by drunken known acquaintances or something.  He pulled out a gun and shot the guy with the knife, effectively ending his rather short barbering career on the spot!

The guy died and now the friend is on trial for negligent homicide.

Viagra, lost fortunes and cheap gas continue to be the top spam attractors in the nation.  The latest promises to save you .70 cents per gallon!  Of course the “details” on this amazing item, were a tad bit sketchy, so you had to click on the link. 

Here is something else:  If Bill Gates has all the money in the known free world, how come there isn’t a short-cut key for the “cents” symbol.  Just thinking outside the box.  I guess it all evens out in the end.  Cheap gas, pirated copies of Windows, and lost Nigerian fortunes on the list of things people want, and I don’t have any cents.

Every other car in Oklahoma City has some dummy talking on a cell phone these days.  First we had D.U.I (Driving Under the Influence), then D.W.I (Driving While Intoxicated), and now D.W.Y. (Driving While Yakking). 

A pilot on a flight from Dallas to Austin recently asked a passenger repeatedly to stop talking on his cellphone.  No soap.  When the aircraft landed in Austin, the local authorities were waiting for the offending tele-communicator and he was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Surprise, surprise.

Talk about a crappy flight?  A passenger on a Dallas to New York flight was asked by the pilot to sit on the seat of a toilet in the aircraft bathroom for three hours.  He has filed a $2 million lawsuit against the airline.  The pilot asked the man to sit there after a flight attendant complained of an uncomfortable jump-seat.  Now here is the rub, “the guy is flying for free on a pass that someone gave him, he is not paying one thin dime for the trip.” 

Now he is suing for two-million and some change?

An Okie on an airliner that is going down and crashing, doesn’t know if he is going to heaven or hell.  All he knows for sure is …. He is going thru Dallas.  A couple of lessons in this: 

(1)  It no longer pays to fly the Friendly Skies I guess.  (2)  Rent a car in Dallas and DON’T fly to Austin.

See you in the funny papers ……….