Friday, May 31, 2013

Photo challenge: 5 things

The photo challenge for the month of May wraps up today by asking for pictures of "5 things."  5 what things?  They leave it open, and so I settled on pictures of 5 things that I always make sure I have on hand anywhere - at home, or in the truck when I am out and about.  With these 5 things, I can pretty much get by, and fix anything, or at least patch things up temporarily...

If you have a bottle of water on hand, you will be glad.  Trust me.  Keep several, and keep an empty bottle such as a 1/2 gallon milk container handy too, if you think there is a chance you might get stuck on the interstate for 4 hours one evening when a sudden sleet storm locks up traffic for miles around and you're in the car wishing you hadn't had that cup of coffee right before you left the office.

There's an old saying, "Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure" and the corollary is that there are doggone few things in life that can't be at least temporarily fixed with duct tape.  Everyone knows that, but not everyone remembers to throw a roll in the trunk.
 With a Leatherman tool, you have about all the blades, pliers and screwdrivers you'd need to make snappy repairs.  Also, they are handy for when you buy a CD and you have to perform surgery to open the packaging so you can hear the music!
 When Marge Simpson asked Bart who George Washington Carver was, Bart got it wrong by answering, "The guy who cut up George Washington."  Mr Carver was the man who determined that a pound of peanuts packs more protein than a pound of steak.  Have some in the car for a protein-packed snackeroo and never go hungry!
You need WD40 for several hundred reasons.  A good starter list is here on the net.  But remember - if you held part of your car together with duct tape and later get things fixed right, the WD will take away the goo left behind by the tape!

These five things are things you'll be glad you have someday.  Trust me!  See you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Photo challenge: stranger

OK, first of all, strangers don't like having their pictures taken. So unless you're planning on submitting something to Peopleofwalmart, you're better off not snapping snapshots of people as they go about their business.

Will Rogers, 1879-1935
And: what is a stranger?  I have always held with Will Rogers on that.  Will was an interesting fellow, whose lifetime spanned the wild west of the late 19th Century into radio and movie stardom in the 20th.  He was born before the invention of the airplane, and he was killed in a plane crash in Alaska in 1935.  He was a vaudeville performer, skilled with lasso tricks which he would spin while telling jokes and making observations such as, "I don't belong to any organized political party.  I'm a Democrat."

But he also said, "A stranger is just a friend I haven't met yet."  And I like that.  Many people who know me today are friends because I barged right up and started talking to them.

Of course, many people heard me talking to them and then ran as far and as fast as their legs could carry them.  But hey! I love people, I love having friends, and thanks for being one!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Photo challenge: Television

I have so many thoughts about television.  It can be informative (the news), educational (Sesame Street), entertaining (sports events and comedies) and just downright dumb (most of those reality shows.)

Which doesn't mean to say that a person is dumb for watching them, any more than a person is smart just by watching the news.  It's just that I feel I have so much more to do in life than to watch the Kardashians dashing about.

Bill Watterson, who drew the great Calvin and Hobbes comic, did not have much use for TV:
But then

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Photo challenge: What I'm doing now!

Well-ell.............what I'm doing right now is rehabbing my re-replaced knee.  The surgery was three weeks ago yesterday, so  I am coming along, as the medical staff says.  I don't look any the worse for wear, they tell me.

I am trying to get back to looking like this photo.  This was an Xray of the original replaced knee, but then it went bad and was within a few months of totally coming undone, which is not what you want to happen when you're walking through the mall trying to get to Sears while they still have those T-shirts on sale.

When the dust all settles and I have a more recent Xray to show you, I will be glad to share it.  For now, this is sorta kinda what my left leg looks like and I'm happy that the great Dr Ron Delanois repaired me, like an old workhorse that might be good for another few seasons pulling the plow.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Photo challenge: I can't live without

It seems a little bit odd to be saying, "Happy Memorial Day!"  because the day is meant more for solemn reflection than for big sales on used Chevrolets and for paying respect to those who selflessly laid down their lives in battle to keep our nation free.

If rug dealers and big box electronics merchants want to capitalize and make some extra money off the patriotic angle,  they can explain that to their children and families.  To each his or her own.

My Dad served in the Navy in World War II and came home, met my mother, and contributed to the baby boom.  But before all this, Mom had been all set to marry another guy, but he was killed when his bomber was shot down.  She never talked much about him, but it had to be horrible, and then to think of that scene being repeated in home after home, all across America and the world.  Peggy's Dad was in the Army, same war, and came home to marry Peggy's mom, and then Peggy and I met up and found our way to persistent bliss for almost 40 years now because our country did not roll over to the Germans and the Japanese and the Italians - the tripartite Axis that threatened to end the free world as we knew it, then and now.

Their legacy to us was our freedom.  The price can be seen here at Arlington.  These are men and women without whom we just could not live as we do.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Photo challenge: Something that makes me smile

When I saw this challenge, of course I thought right of Peggy.  Without question, it is my wife who makes me smile more than anything else.  But rather than turn the blog into more of an embarrassing paean to the magnificent Peggy, I thought I'd talk about someone who also brings a smile to this craggy face of mine.

Born Philip John Clapp in Knoxville, Tennessee, Johnny Knoxville is the creator of the show most often regarded as "America's gift to world culture."  That show, which began on MTV and is now preparing its fourth in a series of movies that expand and deepen the way we look at life and how we can improve the ways we live it, is called -ironically - "Jackass."

"Jackass" is usually described as "an ensemble comedy in which the latest trends in literature, drama, poetry, expressionistic art, and music ranging from the classics of Wagner to the Gregorian chants of the nobleman Sir Mix A. Lot are discussed and held to the prism of our national gestalt."

And then, they put a blindfold on Knoxville and lead him into a bull's corral.  In this memorable sequence, of course, Knoxville's red shirt serves to infuriate the bull, who represents the spirit of evil that lurks in our world, often against our better wishes.  Knoxville lights a cigarette to indicate that he has no fear of death, and yet, death lurks around every corner, as we have been taught by Grandpa Simpson. The bull's actions are predictable; he has no compunction about re-claiming his territory.  Knoxville is able to demonstrate an ability to keep calm under pressure and even shows a previously-unseen talent for backflips.

I know that some regard this show as simply daredevil stunts by men who should know better.  Now that you have come to see it as more of a comment on international diplomacy, please come over to the house and we can watch all of the movies all day long!

Until Peggy gets home.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Photo challenge: Lyrics

He's not the important figure in musical culture that he once was, but when I am asked to specify something about lyrics, I point to Bob Dylan, and then have to decide which of his songs -  among the hundreds he has written  - to talk about.

Never cared much for the shirt, but Triumph
Motorcyles were made right up the road from
here in Timonium, MD!
1965's album "Highway 61 Revisited" marked Dylan's passage from nothing but acoustic folk to almost nothing acoustic at all.  Of course, folk purists screamed bloody murder, but Bob was moving along with the times, which he had already told everyone were a-changin'.  The capper for the album was the long, long story song "Desolation Row," which, while minimally accompanied, still stood more in the rock pile than, say, something by the Kingston Trio.

Speaking of the instruments on this song, that Mexican-style fingerpicked guitar was done by Charlie McCoy, who would go on to play harmonica on about 75% of the country hits coming out of Nashville in the 70s and 80s.

If you don't know this song, never heard it before, I urge you to click on this link and check it out on Vimeo.  The lyrics will roll on the screen as you listen, but this is not karaoke material.  What it is, is thinking material.  Lovers of poetry can read this verse over and over, marvelling at the man's ability to string words together:

Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much
About desolation row


And for those who study their history, especially all that happened in the 60s, how about asking the passengers on the Titanic which side they're on?  It was during the turbulent 60s that everyone started choosing sides ("Love it or leave it!" vs. "Change it or lose it!") and after all, did it matter to the people of the Titanic which side of anything they were on, just a few days into their cruise?

This is why Dylan's lyrics were more like poetry.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Photo challenge: Dream Vacation

Today we are asked to show pictures of our dream vacation.  I'm always ready for this one!  I have rolled it over so many times, and yet the people at Powerball refuse to give me the money I so clearly deserve.

BUT!  When they back up the Brink's truck to my door and start tossing huge bags filled with greenbacks into my garage, I want to be able to tell Sam and Nancy next door where to forward any important mail!

First stop will be the place where we take a week in August to get a little sun on the beach.  Cape May, NJ, the beach town that is like Mayberry With An Ocean.  We could stay there for a couple of weeks...

Palmer, Weaver, Murray, Ripken
...and then we would head up to Cooperstown, New York, to take in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  These Orioles are enshrined there and I would love to see their plaques and exhibits.

Brooks, Anderson, Wagoner and Dickens
Pausing only briefly here at the Lazy 'C' Ranch, to do some laundry and sleep in our own bed for a few nights, we would then pack that fresh laundry and take off for Nashville, to see a show of the Grand Ole Opry.  They still trot "Little" Jimmy Dickens out most nights and I don't think I would want to go to heaven and not be able to say, "Oh yes, Little Jimmy...been into him for years, and we just saw him in '13 at the Opry!

Then we'd leave the USA for two weeks so that Peggy could get to see France.  As it happens, I am in very tight with their queen, so she could get me a deal on one of those 5' loaves of bread, and a beret, the one hat in the world that accomplishes nothing in terms of sunshade for ears and backs of necks. I guess I could fill it with crepes and just mainly hang around the hotel lobby.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Photo challenge: PJs

Well, I always promised to be honest with you, and for this date, the photo challenge asks for a photo of my PJs.  Pajamas.  I think I wore them as a kid and I'm certain that the ones I wore back then had pictures of luminaries such as Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers and Sandra Dee.

But it seems to me that any time I see surveillance photos of men running down the street with their pants in their hands, they are not wearing pajamas at all, but some combination of "underwears" (as Filly Giove  >>>from Jerseylicious would say.)

I always figure one of these designs
must be the family tartan!
Circumstances like that never arise for me.  I do keep my jeans hanging up in the dressing room in case that 2:47 AM phone call comes in and I need to scoot.  Otherwise, once I retire for the evening, you may count on me to be clad in a    T- shirt and boxer shorts.  Plaid.   No pajamas, no velvet smoking jacket or silk robe.

I said I'd be honest.  I never said I'd be elegant!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Photo challenge: Change

This is just what it appears to be - a peanut butter jar filled with change.  Peggy and I scoop out excess change and stash it away in the jar, and then, every few months, we take it to the Credit Union and cash it in, sending all these coins into the electric jaws of a coin-counting machine, which pays off 95% of what it takes in in cold hard green cash.

The only way to get more money out of it would be to count and roll all the coins and take them to the Credit Union, as if anyone has time for all that nonsense.  We usually get around 45 or 50 bucks, and if that ain't enough for a nice night at the diner, I don't know what is!

By the way, I do carry some change on me, so that when I buy something for $3.28, I can give the cashier a five spot along with a quarter and three pennies and get back two singles.  Now and then you hear about someone wanting to get rid of pennies, but hey! Used to be, you could get a pretzel stick or a single Mary Jane candy for that penny.

Used to be.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Photo challenge: I care

This is about a little dog we all cared for. Her name was Heidi, and she was my niece Laura's little miniature pinscher, or "min-pin" as the canine cognoscenti say.   We all loved Heidi.  She was the kind of dog who would come running to a friend, her spindly legs all flying about and her little claws skidding across the kitchen floor, coming to a halt  at your feet so she jump up on you, all full of doggie hugs and kisses.   She was so smart, she knew when she heard the car keys rattling that it was time to get in her little box or in the car or whatever.  We would take her for a walk, and the words "walk" and "outside" and "go" all were in her vocabulary, which was quite extensive for a dog. (Beside her native German, she was also fluent in English and the languages of Mexican, Italian and Asian carry-out shops.)

The end came all too soon for Heidi, at about 12 years or so.  But that sweet little spirit in her kept on right until the end. Even at her final ebb, she still snuggled and said goodbye in her special way.  I know I get all misty over her even today but I see her cavorting around making the other angels happy, so it's all good. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Photo challenge: Music

Most of us got our first daily doses of music from hardworking, reliable and honest radio Djs.  It was always a thrill to me and millions of others to tune in a cheesy little plastic transistor radio and listen to the top 40 hits of the week, along with a five-minute newscast on the hour, ripped off the AP wire printer and read with heavy echo sound effects that made every story sound important.  And the commercials! For acne creams and drag strips and toothpaste and soft drinks and hamburgers and the whole cornucopia of products and services of interest to the fans of Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs.

  Incidentally, why did the word 'cheesy' come to connote 'meretricious'? I like cheese! We should say those radios were 'Brussels sprouts-y'!   

 Music just sounded better when delivered by a friendly voice and accompanied by jingles and sound effects and slogans, so that's why, when I think of music, I like to think of a disc jockey playing it for us.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Photo challenge: Favorite View

You don't have to know my very well to know my favorite view always includes my wonderful wife Peggy. It's not that we are one of those couples so joinedatthehip that they can't take two steps in separate directions.  We can. But then again, of late I have needed plenty of help - and a walker or a cane - to take any steps at all.
                                                                                                                                                                        There are two ways of helping a person; a helper can just do the minimum with a maximum of huffs and sighs, or a person can totally immerse his-or-herself into the tasks, the hundreds of daily tasks that need to be done in a person's daily life.  That's Peggy, and if I could find some better way to thank her, I will.  But for now, I want to say, I appreciate both the help and the selfless manner in which it is given!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Photo challenge: I want

I pondered today's challenge for a while, and I have to say, what I really want is for people to knock it the hell off and start getting along with each other.

But there is no way to picture that, unless you google "60's Love-In," so I'll just make the statement, that that is what I would really like.

As far as something material, there is something I had when I was a barefoot boy with cheek of tan that I would like to have another of...a suede fringed jacket.

Colossal.  I would love to have another one, especially if it had that candy-striped lining like Seinfeld had, in case I run into Lawrence Tierney.  And that hasn't been possible since 2002.

Hmm.  Now I think I want a fedora like the one Tierney is wearing.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Photo challenge: I bought this

Among the several thousand records, tapes and CDs I have bought (or otherwise acquired) over the years, there are a few that I have in just about every format.  Cheap Trick at Budokan came out as an album in 1979 and I just about wore the grooves off my copy, so I was glad when the music industry switched to cassettes for two weeks before CDs came along.  I bought the cassette and of course I bought the CD, and then they came along with this version in 1997, a recording that included songs left off the initial releases.  For a fan of the guitar work of Rick Nielsen, the bass of Tom Petersson, the vocal of Robin Zander and the drums of the man I rank right up with Keith Moon as #1 of all time, Bun E. Carlos, this is something that can be enjoyed time and again.

Here's a song from the concert that shows the band at their best. It's the old Fats Domino number, "Ain't That A Shame." Play it now and it will be stuck in your head all day.  And there are worse ways to go around than that!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Photo challenge: Family photo

This photo must look like what you get if you google "family photo."  Left to right, it's Kathy (Laura's mother), Peggy, yours truly, Jamie (Jay's wife), Russell (Laura's father), Laura (it was her birthday), her husband Drew (my nephew), Robin (my sister), Jay (my other nephew) and John, my brother-in-law.

Of course, there are kids not shown, and my mom is no condition to be making the party circuit, but this is the current lineup of people over 7 and under 87.

8 x 10 reprints are available in the lobby as you exit.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Photo challenge: everyday jewelry

It is very simple to get a good photo of all the everyday jewelry I wear every day.  There are but two items:  my wedding ring and a watch.

My wedding ring has been in place since 12/8/73 and that little band of gold represents everything that's good in my life.

The watches have come and gone, but trust me on this, I would sooner have a dozen Timex Ironman watches scattered around than one Rolex or whatever.  Sure, those high-class watches are nice to look at, and people will admire the man who can afford to wear one.  But they can't ask him much more than what time it is and what's the date, while we Timexers can, with the push of a button or two, time an event with a stopwatch, set a timer to wake ourselves from a nap, be reminded of important dates and occasions, have as many as three daily or weekly alarms set to remind us to do this or that, and see what time it is in another whole time zone.

All for less than 60 semolians, while you can spend $39, 250 for the men's Diamond ROLEX Oyster Watch Perpetual Day-Date model.  Just go see your local Rolex dealer!  They've already seen you coming!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Photo challenge: Best friend

I adore my wife Peggy in ways that I can't even think of enough words to describe.  I'm writing these blogs in advance because of going to the hospital for knee replacement replacement, and Peggy is going with me.

But she is taking care of every little detail and planning everything just so.  Of course, I'm not paying a bit of attention when the hospital people tell me what kind of socks to wear and when to shave and what meds not to take, because Peggy is there and she gets all that stuff right, allowing me to concentrate on packing New Yorker magazines and my various doodads for the three-day stay.

Every hour of every day since June 21, 1973, the beautiful woman pictured above has loved me completely, perfectly, and much more than I deserve.  Of course she's my best friend.  Even if I didn't love her, she'd still be someone I'd want to talk to every day.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Photo challenge: Someone I miss

I miss a lot of people.  But I have to say that my maternal grandfather, E. Joseph Schissler, is at the top of the list or very close to it.
Here he is, way back in the day.  He had a sense of humor a lot like mine, so I guess you can say he helped form mine, for better or for worse.  It was under his tutelage that I was to learn all I know about how to bend the Land o' Lakes butter package (google images of "land o lakes girl trick") and how to turn a pack of Pep Boys matches into something much more fun.  He had me saying, "Don't go away mad, just go away!" long before Mötley Crüe had me singing it, and he knew just about every old vaudeville joke that there was.

He also had a garage full of the most amazing junk and stuff.  In fact, he should have opened a business in the mall called Junk 'n' Stuff. Old magazines, threaded pipes, scrap wood: all were things he had in abundance.  

Along with a lot of love and joy.  So that's why I miss him.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Photo Challenge: Mother

This is my mother, as pictured on Christmas 2009.  She is, sad to say, nowhere near this hale and hearty anymore.  Today is Mother's Day and my sister and brother-in-law are going to bring her around so Peggy and I can see her, since I'm still not ambulatory quite yet.

Happy Mother's Day to you and yours!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Photo challenge: Outfit Of the Day

Unless someone has departed this mortal coil or is getting married (in which case I saved a suit and some shirts and ties and nice khaki pants), you will usually see me in the mufti pictured below.

Left - in cooler weather, blue jeans, polo shirt, and red socks.  Hoodie available if really chilly.
Right - in warmer weather, cargo shorts, t-shirt, black ankle socks.

I finish off the ensembles with a nice pair of Rockport shoes (first choice of mallwalkers the world over), an Oriole cap, and plaid boxer shorts (not seen.)

If someone claiming to be I walks up to you, and he's wearing polyester pants or a polyester shirt with any sort of cheeseball decoration anywhere, and patent leather shoes, and a fedora: it's not I.

And just why would someone try to pass themselves off as me?  There's no money in it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Photo challenge: Movies

Jerry Seinfeld used to have a gag that said men don't want to know what's on TV.  They want to know what ELSE is on TV.

That's true here at the Lazy 'C' Ranch, and there's a corollary of sorts.

I don't want to watch any new movies.  I only want to watch my favorite movies again and again.

Hence, this collection of DVD classics ready to enjoy during my surgery rehab.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll know most of the lines in advance!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thanks to everyone for the love and support!

May I take a break from the ongoing Photo Challenge to salute the greatest person I have ever known and loved? Of course, I'm talking about Peggy, my wife of almost four decades, who has been by my side 24-7 since last weekend, preparing me for and pulling me through knee replacement replacement.  Every day while we were in Sinai Hospital, she helped with my meals, clothing and personal tidiness. And unless you've never given a big lummox such as I a little washcloth and basin and helped him "bathe" you just don't know what fun is!  I wish I had more time to sit and type about her and her goodness, but I just hope that everyone I know could enjoy the unselfish devotion that is my gift from my Peggy. I see guys on TV buying 57-carat rings to say thanks but I don't have that kind of money. I'm just glad we have that kind of love!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Photo challenge: Selfie

Today's photo challenge is a selfie.  I'll do my best, but, as much as I try, I don't come out looking like John Stamos or Bradley Cooper.

I have found that by taking the selfie at a certain angle, I avoid the straight-on shot that looks like it should be in the morning paper with the accompanying caption "Man Held In Liquor Store Holdup."

This is the selfie of a very happy man, in love with his wife and with love itself.  He thanks you for your loving friendship!

Photo Challenge: Shape

My favorite shape is a circle, because it seems inclusive.  Terms such as "family circle," "circle of friends" and the circle of life that they talk about.

A wedding ring or any ring that denotes a permanent and committed relationship is in the circular shape, meaning that there are no corners or shadowy edges.  The circle loops over and over on itself, with no beginning or end.

We have this wreath in the living room.  Well, technically, that room is the family room, and the living room is somewhere else.  But we do our fun living in the family room and the living room is more formal.  It's for formal occasions.  We have lived in this house for almost 14 years and I count on one hand the amount of times I have sat in the living room.  I'm not that formal.

But happiness runs in a circular motion!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Photo Challenge: Something beginning with 'R'

There could not be any question around our house as to what begins with an 'R' that we really like.  The answer is Cal Ripken, Jr, probably the greatest Baltimore Oriole of all time and the holder of the consecutive games record - 2,632 - that will stand forever.  Of that, I have no doubt.

This poster hangs in my garage. I took it with me one day when I went to get some autographs down at the old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.  I wish I had taken a Sharpie with me, because in black ballpoint, the signature doesn't show all that well.

We saw Cal and his wife and kids eating in a restaurant in Towson one night.  I stood there transfixed, as if seeing one of the Saints from the Bible eating fries and a burger.

If you and yours had the chance to see Cal play, or to be touched by his workpersonlike dedication to excellence, you "R" very lucky.   His father, coach and manager Cal,Sr, had an expression:  Practice doesn't make perfect.  Perfect practice makes perfect.

That sounds "R"ight to me!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Photo challenge: Broken

How appropriate that this is the topic of the day.  Broken.  As in, my knee.  It's not broken, but the replacement needs to be replaced, so as you are seeing this, I am at the hospital gettin' 'er done.

The first replacement was done in 2000 and it has served me well.  But it's wearing out and somewhat misaligned.

Next time you see this knee, it will be bandaged and sore but on the road to recovery!  The slight scar is from the last replacement.  Late last night, I drew a large arrow with a magic marker to mark the spot.

Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement!  While I'm in there, maybe I could get a tattoo.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Photo challenge: handwriting

I'm a little late seeing this May Photo Challenge. But it works for me, with being in the hospital and then lumbering around the house on crutches or a walker or whatever.  So let's start right in:  Here's the deal...and I might now always have my own picture for everything...but I'll steal  get one from somewhere!
Cardinal Clark's autograph
May 5, and they want a sample of handwriting?  My handwriting would not be of interest, or even legible.  But here are two famous people with the same name as I...Mark Clark, a  onetime major league pitcher, and General Mark Clark, who chased Rommel across Egypt in World War II.

General Clark's autograph
I sent the card to the ballplayer and he autographed it and sent it back.

General Clark passed away in 1984, but he lives on in memory.  There is a section of I-526 down in Charleston,South Carolina, named for him and friends of mine on the way to Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks are sometimes surprised that someone down there named a road after me.  Or just the off-ramp.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Saturday Picture Show, 5/4/13

 What's more All-American than a couple of kids all duded up in their finery (his: rented, hers: purchased).  He even color coordinated his tie and pocket square to go with her outfit.  This is the sort of picture they can treasure through the years ahead, but I hope that someone took another shot, because the man across the street didn't color coordinate his bare buttocks for the event.
 I found this on Reddit.  The person who posted it wrote the caption: "Woman on bus just sat down next to herself in 20 years."
 The most famous photobomb of all, from the good folks at National Geographic.  The beaver looks like he is all set for a great weekend.
I guess my interest in this is not so much that a hawk landed right outside some dude's office, but that the dude in question, having seen a hawk land right outside his office, was able to pull out his phone and hit the camera button without scaring his visitor off.  Good work.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Out walking on his tipsy toes

I'm going to step out of my usual shoes and ask my conservative friends to be conservative about something.

I've given up wondering why a judge did not see fit to confine in jail a county councilman who was driving drunk in the middle of the night down a busy street in the county seat...without his headlights on.  This person already has a past event in his life for which he wound up in the Anne Arundel County Ironbar Bed and Breakfast for a weekend after leaving the scene of an accident.  He's also faced charges of having a loaded pistol in his glove box, and for passing a bad $500 check.

A literalist from way back, I keep a pair of gloves in my glove box.

No, judges are going to do what judges are going to do,  even though sobersided individuals such as I feel that a few more days wearing an orange jumpsuit would have served both the politician involved and the public fair warnings about how seriously we regard drunks driving.  No use to fret about that.

But, conservatives, do you not feel the same irritation stirring within when you read the letters of support sent to the judge...from another politician, a civic leader and a clergyman?  Because not one of the three letters reproduced in the Towson Patch is free of grammatical errors.

True conservatives would wish that our beloved language, the native tongue of Keats, Byron and Shakespeare, be maintained and honored by proper usage among all.  Awkward syntax, "it's" being used instead of "its," and extraneous pronouns all are vexatious to lovers of the language.

I expect a groundswell movement among enraged right-wingers, to be followed by a huge upsurge in correct usage in schools, newspapers and placards waved at Tea Party rallies.

Won't YOU help?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Will I be able to play the piano after this surgery?

I'm not saying that all men are like this.  (Each and every generalization is dumb.) But I am that guy who, when the people at the hospital ask me if I got, read, and understand all the pre-operative information that they handed me, mailed, faxed, texted, shared on Facebook and sent by messenger, I just give my "Meh" shrug and look at Peggy.

I'm that guy who doesn't want to know what they are going to do to my leg next week, if it's all the same to the staff.  I came downstairs a couple of weeks ago and there was Peggy with her tablet, looking at a video of some other poor soul having his knee re-replaced, which is what they are going to do to me next week. She thrilled to the closeups of the saw and the drill and the giant pain machine, and she found fascinating the surgeon's play-by-play ("And nowwwwwwwwwwwww we insert the new tibial component like SO!").

The new fake knee from 2000 is shot, and I "kneed" to have it replaced.  So in they go, out with the old and in with the new.  That's all good.  But I am not a good patient. (surprised gasp.)
I don't like being confined, I can't sleep on my back, and anesthesia makes me gassy.

On the other hand, I am forever grateful for having health insurance that will cover this.  Fifty years ago I would still be clomping around like Chester on "Gunsmoke."

Of course, fifty years ago, so was Chester.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Keep it in your prance

I'm not in a position to ask for favors from celebrities.  Oh sure, I'll ask Steve Harvey to shake hands if I ever meet him, and I'd request free coupons if I ever met that lady who does the Popeyes commercials, but all in all, I don't go around asking singers to sing Happy Birthday to my kin or beseeching Pee Wee Herman to chortle out the greeting on my answering machine.

But in return for me not asking celebrities to stop their incessant self-promotion, may I just simply say I would like them to stop serving more than my minimum adult daily requirement of bull excrement when they explain stuff?

Like the other day, we talked about Reese Witherspoon claiming that the only reason she bopped out of her rented Ford and interfered with the police officer who was field-testing her husband for drunkenness was that she was "afraid" for her husband.

Now, here's a new one.  An old story, though.  This country singer, Jason Aldean, has been married since 2001 to his high school sweetheart, Jessica Ussery, and they have two kids, 10 and 5 years of age.

Last year, he got himself in a little trouble with the Mrs when he was caught playing tonsil hockey with some woman named Brittany Kerr, who comes to us from two sterling symbols of American royalty:  she was both an American Idol contestant and a dancer for the Charlotte Bobcats.  But there they were in a bar, looking like they were trying to learn Standup CPR, and failed to apprehend the New American Truth that just about everything you do is being recorded on video tape right now.

Both Aldean and Kerr offered heartfelt apologies and so on and so forth.  Ms Kerr said that her actions represented a lapse in judgement, and she was besieged by Twitterers asking questions such as, "What is wrong with you, taking advantage of a married man who had been drinking?"

Poor, defenseless, married man.

Aldean tried to play it straight too, saying that "The truth is that I screwed up. I had too much to drink, let the party get out of hand and acted inappropriately at a bar. I left alone, caught the bus to our next show and that's the end of the story."

 Poor, stupid, married man.

Anyway, that's his problem.  All I am asking is, after filing for divorce as Aldean did this week, can the rich and famous kindly refrain from saying things such as: "Jessica and I have been together since we were teenagers. We've been through a lot of ups and downs over the years as we grew up together as a couple. She will always be important to me because she is the mother of my children, and I know that we will both always make our daughters our number one priority."

The new happy couple
Which, translated, means, "We were together before I got rich and famous and found singing cheerleaders more available than they were when I was working at a 7-11 in high school, so out she goes, replaced by the new, hot model.  She will always be important to me because she will cost me a huge pile of money every month until both kids are about 47."

Again, these people can run off in whichever direction they find most pleasing.  I don't care one iota.  But please?  If your wife were still important, she would still be your wife.  If your kids were truly your number one priority, you would still be their father full time.

"I had too much to drink" also means "I don't know how to behave around girls."  That is sooooo high school....