The Posse

One of my fondest memories in life are trips to the movies when I was a kid.  Me and a buddy, would talk Dad into driving us downtown to go to the movies on Saturday.  Always asked my Dad, cause if you asked Mom, she always had the “don’t you let no nasty old man touch you in the bathroom” lecture, and that kind of embarrassed me to no end.  That one, and the “my first bra in High school and the other girls ….”

I really hated that one. Continue reading

S.O.S. Upside Down And In Trouble

My neighbor came over the other day and asked me, “Have you been drinking lately?” and I responded, “No.  Why?” and then he pointed at the flag outside my shop on the flagpole that was clearly flying upside down.

He then said, “Well, your flag is upside down.

And I said, “Yeah, I know it.  It is an International sign of distress on the High Sea’s, if you are in trouble you rig up your standard in the upside down position.”

So clearly confused and caught off guard, he then says, “What in the #$#@##!! are you talking about?”

And I said, “I don’t know if you have noticed it or not, but this country is clearly in trouble.”

Welcome to my world, a world where some people still like me, even if I don’t smell like fresh rain.  We, as a race of people, a nation, need to get honest about all this, we are in dire straits, 49 million people in this country are on food stamps, one out of every six do not have anything to eat.  We are not educating our young and our industries are being shipped overseas.

We are in trouble.  

Hello, my name is Don, I am addicted to The Big Bang Theory and I freely admit that I never had my science project in on time.  It might  have been because the nature of the instruction and the assessments often reflect more of an ability to memorize facts and sit attentively than truly actually engage in science.  Although I am a graduate of High School, I cannot forge nor change your future, you have to do that.

I would also at this juncture like to admit that most of the time, when they are discussing quantum physics and all that other universal stuff on television, I haven’t a clue as to what they are talking about.  Yeah I know, what you are thinking that “he only watches that to gaze up the girl character Penny.”

Could be a sprinkling of truth in there too.

My science adventures in my now begotten youth, mainly consisted of being able to memorize things, not so much learn them.  A talent of sorts, but also a handicap later on in life, when students such as this are faced with “true science” further along in their academic careers they tend to get lost in the shuffle.

Memorizing instead of taking the time to learn they often find that they are under prepared for the creativity, analytical skills, and curiosity necessary to truly engage and be successful.  This why I watch the Big Bang Theory Boys & Girls, it is about as scientific as I am gonna get. (It also allows me to escape the everyday trials and tribulations of modern living)

Kind of sad, when you stop to think about it, most of the nation‘s youth are lacking in science skills, the Japanese, Germans, and others clearly are leading the way.  We seem to be fresh out of hero’s in our country.  The only people they have to emulate or look up to are sports figures and drug dealers.  This might be why they flock to the game-boy instead of the text book.

The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.  There is a fine line between wrong and visionary, unfortunately, you have to be visionary in order to see it.

The flag, my flag, is going to continue to fly upside down until someone can point out a clear cut difference to me.

OOO

Live Free Or Die Hard

Not much on television, so I am watching “Die Hard” with Bruce Willis, an old stand-by on a somewhat hum-drum Oklahoma Day and there is the scene where the cop is purchasing all of these Twinkies for “his pregnant wife” and he walks outside and stares up at the NakaTomiBuilding.

The sign on the immediate right reads, “Unleaded Regular 74.9 per gallon” ah, the good old days, eh?

Die Hard is a good movie, but I liked the one after that, “Return of the Titans” or something like that.  Denzel Washington, a man’s movie, football, the sixties.  Bag of Cheeto;s, diet soda, I am legally dead for the next two and one-half hours .. hire out an undocumented worker to take out the trash and leave me alone.

Boom Shaka-laka, Boom Shaka-laka, we are the Titans!  The mighty, mighty Titans!

A good movie.  Winners.  Upbeat stuff.  Most of us have never experienced the feeling of being on a “winning team” in life.  For the most parts, that is a special time only reserved for a select few.  I had a taste of it when I was in Boot Camp, I was in the First Color Company of the year, and we were good.  No, we were “better than good” we were “the” best.  Being on a winning team is truly a special feeling, it is a wonderful sensation, almost indescribable to a point, kind of like flying to Paris for breakfast on a LearJet, that would be close to it.

As I said … We were top drawer.  We were for the most parts the best.  We were unbeatable.

No one could hold a candle to us, we had every flag you could possibly have … And we had TWO OF THEM EACH.  We were the Super Bowl of companies in 1965.  That is possibly my only claim to fame.  So I know what it feels like to be a winner, I have been there, done that, got the T-shirt.  I can truthfully say … It sure feels good to be a winner.

Taking all this one step further, this possibly could be the reason I have a problem with all this Global Warming and Energy non-sense going around.  All this whining about our economy and how things are not getting better.  This idea of it not being real or the fact that we are somewhat powerless to do anything about it.

Most any person would quickly agree, that is not a winner’s attitude.

Why is it we cannot deliver a bottle of water to some poor soul standing on the roof of his flooded house in time of emergency or rebuild a city that was knocked down to its proverbial knees by an act of nature.  When did we seemingly overnight become a nation of whiners and complainers, incapable of solving even the simplest of problems for our country and our citizens?

Not long ago I watched in awe as the Japanese people lined up for the basic necessities in life, politely, quietly, with composure and respect.  We could learn a lot from the Japanese people about courtesy, patience and dignity.

When did we become this “I cannot do it state” or this “can’t do society?”

There was a time in this country, that we could face any challenge put before us with strength, national resolve, and we would rise to any challenge presented to us.  When you look back, we have solved some pretty hefty problems domestically; we have taken more than one tyrant to task, and kicked some tail.  We put men on the moon, we have sent instruments of exploration into deep space, we have overcome great diversity in racism and civil rights violations.

There is only one thing permanent in America any more and that is change.

We had best change and do it soon, or it is the final chapter in our history.  You want to put up a wind turbine in my backyard?  If that is what it takes, then I am onboard.  Same with refineries or solar collecting grids, screw the view, I want to be cool when it is hot outside, if that is what it takes, bring it on.

Boom Shaka-laka,Boom Shaka-laka, we are the Titans!  The mighty, mighty Titans!

Nice thought, but in today’s society, not very realistic.  It is time to suit up for another game America … To get back on the winning side of life.  THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:  “No one has ever gotten laid by wearing pins on their lapel with funny sayings.  No one ever got very far following a parked car Mr. Obama.”  Some of us are getting tired of taking it in the shorts, week after week, where is the change that was promised.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, take time to remember all the brave men who died so that you might enjoy the freedoms that you have today.

OOO

Everyday Heroes

pn-butter

Gimme an A!  — “We gotcha your eh … We gotcha your eh!”

Jonesboro Georgia – A high school dance team at Jonesboro High School was disbanded after parents complained about a provocative routine performed at a basketball game Jan. 13. A school district spokeswoman said the eight-member group will not be allowed to perform or represent the school the rest of the school year. No disciplinary action was planned.  Too much school spirit I guess.

Indecent Proposal

Bismarck North Dakota – State senators decided they don’t want the state in the business of registering strippers and sex shops. They voted 45-1 to defeat a bill that sought to require sex businesses and nude dancers to register with the Tax Department. The bill also would have required sex workers to keep detailed records of their income.  The first time I ever heard the word “sex workers” was in reference to hookers working in India, but it seems to have migrated to America.  It really doesn’t matter, “if there is such a thing as sex workers” then I am definitely “unemployed” these days and that is a fact.

Wedded Bliss

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.  For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside.  She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dishcloths and a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents. ‘When we were to be married,’ she said, ‘my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a dish cloth.’

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dish cloths were in the box.? She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

‘Honey,’ he said, ‘that explains the dish cloths, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?’

‘Oh,’ she said, ‘That’s the money I made from selling the dish cloths.’

Dear Lord, I pray for Wisdom to understand my man;
Love to forgive him; And Patience for his moods;
Because Lord, if I pray for Strength,
I’ll beat him to death, because I don’t know how to crochet.

Remember that old movie with Ryan O’Neil where the chick dies at the end and they say “Love is never having to say your sorry?” or some other hokey unbelievable line.  Love does NOT mean never having to say you’re sorry.  It means having to say you’re sorry over and over again, in new and different ways, every day, every week, every month, every year, until God grants you his mercy and you finally blissfully die.

That is love.

baracks-houseIt appears that Baracks House has finally run its course, and it is starting to wind down.  At one time, it hit an all time high of 128,411 hits in “one day” and that is certainly noteworthy.  Ever since the inauguration it has steadily declined in numbers and seems to be fading off into the sunset.  Each day the numbers decline and it becomes less popular, it enjoyed a good run, first posted in July of last year, it was a huge hit and numbers generator for this site.

What Makes A Hero?

The co-pilot of the jet that went down in the Hudson River last week received a heroism award this week.  What separates a hero from everyone else?  What is the dividing line between a hero and a dud.  I think about the Hudson River crash … and I wonder what I would have done … What would you have done?

Geraldo’s “conspiracy theory did not hold water either” that quietly faded away, which is what I would like to see the FOX Network do …. Just go away.  Flush Limbaugh and O’Riely in 2009.

Here is another strange thing about it.

Connecticut lottery officials had to stop selling tickets bearing the number 1-5-4-9 combination after the crash of the airliner.  So many people requested the combination that the lottery hit its 1,600 ticket quota the next day.  In the end it didn’t really matter, the numbers chosen were completely different.

People are really nuts aren’t they?

Reminds me of the one where the guy walked around all day long, muttering to himself, “Lord, give me six numbers on the lottery.”  … “Oh Lord, please give me a winning ticket on the lottery.” … “Oh Lord, just five numbers Lord, I don’t need it all to be happy.” … “Please Lord, if you give me a winning ticket on the lottery, I will tithe millions to the church.”

And then one day while walking down the street, a voice from heaven boomed down to this hapless soul who did not have a clue … The voice in a huge unearthly tone said … “Give me a break.  Buy a ticket!”

T.G.I.F. — Lookie there you made it.

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

My Dad …

I fondly recall a time, a long time ago, when as a child, my father drove all the way from California to Guthrie, Oklahoma to surprise his father on Father’s Day.  A distance of some 1,600 miles and about three days. I remember how my father’s face lit up, when he looked at that old man (my grandfather) and said, “No really, did I surprise you?  I really wanted this to be a surprise.”  

It was so important to him at the time.  An object lesson in love, how he always strived for their love, but in the end, got so little of it in return.

If I remember it right, it was a trip by means of U.S. #50, “The Loneliest Highway In America,” and across Kansas that trip.  We came back every two years, and we always came a different way, if it were possible.  In order to visit different locales, and see different things. 

Pulling into sleepy little Gunnison, Colorado early in the morning, and Mom commenting, “Lord, look at the price of that gas!” (which at the time was about 21 cents per gallon)  Driving down to the end of a dusty road out on the prairie to see “The World’s Largest Prairie Dog” (which was made out of concrete). 

The land of To-To and Dorothy, the Kingdom of Oz and the Yellow Brick Road. Old Dodge City and the fragrant feedlots of the plains.  Rivers that ran as red as the sun, mile after mile of nothing but wheat, no trees.

I remember watching out the window, the thunderstorms on the plains, and how fascinating they were, as we did not have thunderstorms in our particular area of Northern California.  The awesome beauty of them, and the awe that they carried along with them, the power, the majesty, the wonder of it all.  Now some fifty years later, I am somewhat jaded, and very used to them.  Strangely I am still not comfortable with these storms but they still hold wonder for me.

My Dad, showed all these things to me when I was a kid. 

Your father is the guy that will give you the watch for a present after the race, and you will say, “But Dad, I didn’t win the race.”  And he will smile and say, “it is not for winning son, it is for trying.”  No playbook available for being a Dad, you just shoot it from the hip.  When I was young I used to believe that my Dad was Superman, but then I grew up and realized that he just wore the cape.  He passes on the wisdom of the sage, which in my case was “Use your head for something b’sides a hat rack!”

Your Ol’ man is the guy that had to get up and milk 25 head of cows before breakfast, in order to get an allowance of .25 cents per week.  Who walked five miles to school, uphill, both ways, in snow five feet deep and he was only four feet tall.  I remember when I quit smoking, I called my Dad and said, “Hey Dad, I quit smoking!” he said, “That is great son.”  My mom called me a quitter.

I remember one time, we took him out on a freight train, as he was a great train lover.  We put him behind the controls of that locomotive, little old short train, not very heavy, not much to keep track of.  My brother in law told me later, that my Dad “talked about running that train for years afterward” and each time it got heavier, and heavier, an a whole lot longer. 

That was my Dad. 

Dad is gone now, been gone 10-12 years, I have lost track, but I still miss him.  I keep a picture of him right here on my desk and every day I glance down at it and I remember.  I see him in my minds eye, standing in the airport in Oakland, California, huggin me before I went to boot camp and eventually to the ‘Nam.  A 17 year old wide-eyed vagabond soul who toured the world for some three and one-half years before coming home, a tatooe’d seasoned veteran.

I see him washing and polishing his old Merc’ and shining up the chrome.  Laying on the bed in the bedroom, watching “Wheel Of Fortune” and yelling out to no one in particular, The Green Grass Of Home …. I knew that! 

Shaking his head from side to side and muttering  .. That dumb kid.

Losing Dad early has not helped matters all that much.  I don’t have a “sounding board” to find out what is going on.  He went before me, and I expected at this stage in life, I would have someone I could call and ask questions of concerning how it is I feel, what I believe my tired old frame is doing these days.  Why don’t I have any strength left. 

Find out if it is age or if it is the diabetes. 

But he is not here, he has gone on, and I have to stumble blindly thru life, trying to make sense of it all.  And believe me on some days, it can be a real head scratcher for me.

We were out in ‘Vegas once, and I got a little lucky, had some extra change in my pocket, so I looked at my Old Man, and I said, “Here, I am kind of flush, doing alright, I want you to have this $50.  You did a lot for me when I was a kid, and I want you to have it.” and then I handed the bill to him.  “Take it Dad, and buy something with it that will make your life a little bit more comfortable, a little better.” 

I suppose he bought my mom something with it.  That’s just the kind of guy he was … My Dad.

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