Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bonus Video

I was sitting on our deck, listening to this song, and I thought I should share it. Yes, Lil' Wayne is in my iPod, but it's not his song. It's the lovely Keri Hilson. Here she is, "Miss Keri Baby."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Killing Time

Sticks and stones may break, but words will never hurt me. As we all know, words do hurt. In fact, sometimes words can hurt so much that they may prompt one to pick up some sticks and stones and heave them at the speaker. Wars have been started over words and not just Word Wars.

Words often fails us though. We are trying to use words to represent some often very complex thoughts. We are constantly trying to represent our states of mind with our limited vocabulary. Love is a state of mind. Anger is a state of mind. Pain is a state of mind. Can you rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10? Pain may feel very real, but then again so does color...and love.

I was at work yesterday, killing time. Then I thought to myself, if I can kill time, time must be alive! Time is not alive. Time is merely a concept. I am alive and much more than a mere concept. I am a breathing thinking being, who -- even as I shrink away -- is in constant contact with the world around me. The air around me is not empty. It is filled with the detritus blowing in the winds across the globe. When a butterfly flaps its wings on another continent it really can cause the clouds above to rain on my parade.

All these connections and I'm still yearning for more. I've been a breathing thinking being for nearly fifty-five years, and I'm still aching inside for that unknowable something. That mysterious object of my intellectual desire. I'm just not satisfied with easy answers. And if you flip to the back of the book of life, there is no answer key there either.

Sometimes we must turn to the great philosophers to seek the answers we desire.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Bonus Video

It's amazingly beautiful outside. I think I'll go put my dick in the sunlight (see below.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Melancholy Bay

There is a small craft advisory for Melancholy Bay. If you are having a hard time keeping your head above water today, then you might want to alter your course to a more appropriate destination, like the therapeutic waters of  Sanity Springs, or the Pools of Positive Re-enforcement. We've had some beautiful sunny days of late. One could almost believe that spring had truly arrived. But then the rains come back, and with the rain the grey skies. What I actually mean by the title above is that I'm trying to keep melancholy at bay. Vigilance is the key to staying sane, or at least somewhat calm. I must constantly keep an inner eye on my thoughts and not let them stray too far into stormy waters, especially on a dark rainy night, when visibility is at its lowest.

Yes, I have my health. I also have massive debt. Massive debt is better than a massive heart attack though. I have car(s) in need of repair. The IRS is breathing down our necks and their governmental breath smells like mints and gin. I make the same wage now that I was making when I left Heart Technology back in 1996. Of course, the price of living has gone up. Just a bit. Twelve dollars and fifty cents an hour just doesn't go as far as it used to, and it only got me down the block back then . No I can barely leave the house for less than twenty dollars.  Lucky for me, stargazing is still free.

Comparisons are usually fruitless and mere exercises in ego. Oh, look Harold! The Jones got a pony with a pompadour. We need a horse with a hairdo! Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most solipsistic son of a bitch of all? My toughest competitor is myself. I berate and castigate myself for not succeeding when I've set the bar too damn high anyway. The bar should always be easily accessible and it should always be happy hour. 

Why is life so hard sometimes? It's all just states of mind. The pain and suffering cannot be relieved with a monetary award, and taking anti-depressants sometimes feels like throwing bricks in the Grand Canyon. I'm constantly trying to retrain my brain, but I'm an old dog. I wasn't good at tricks even when I was a young pup. Now I'm the father of a young pup, and he's a gregarious witty wunderkind. At least in my book anyway, and out of the few thousand or so books that I own, the book of fatherhood is the most important title on my shelves.

So, I guess my lesson for today is that when I see the dark clouds looming on the horizon and whitecaps are starting to appear in the tumultuous Melancholy Bay, I just need to remind myself that I am a father and being a parent is the most important job in the world and the pay rate is love through the roof!

Here is my son, Justin, making a half-court shot. He fills my life with sunshine and warmth even on the dreariest days of winter.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Out Standing in His Field

Like clockwork, every day after school, I would walk through the fields and woods behind our house. There was the red barn and the lower barn. The horse pasture was behind the lower barn. The lower barn was grey and weathered, and the former hayloft was now home to mud wasps and barn swallows. There was a large swinging gate, constructed of scraps of lumber, from around the farm. It had to be patched when our beef steer, Charlie Brown, plowed through it. That's when my dad decided to butcher Charlie Brown. Our pony was probably glad to see him go.

Once through the gate and past the barn, I walked over a level section and then down a hill. There were two old dumps on the right. The first of the two dumps was filled with large rusty appliances, washing machines, stoves, and so forth. The larger dump towards the bottom of the hill was a miasma of all kinds of trash, but nothing burnable, or that would blow away. Just old scraps from living on a farm. This is what folks did before the town landfill opened up. I periodically crawled through that large dump heap, looking for tarnished treasures. It's a good thing that I stayed current on my tetanus (lockjaw) shots.

The field was partly bordered by Great Cedar Swamp. It was there that I found tadpoles for show and tell. It was there that our dogs wandered into the water, up to their necks to escape the heat and bugs. We tried out our second hand hockey skates on that small patch of water.  I never did get the hang of that whole ice-skating thing. Up the hill there was a tree, with a limb stump off the trunk that must have been just the right height for our pony to scratch her back. The nub of the broken limb became smooth and polished from all the times she rubbed her flank against the tree.

The horse pasture is also where I first got stoned. Of course, my friend and I didn't realize we were stoned until we stood up. And then, once standing, I had to deal with my angry father, who had just marched down the hill. Earlier in the afternoon we had been throwing rotten vegetables from the garden at the boys from next door. It was a water fight that we took to the next level. Just boys being boys. We then became familiar with the paranoia that often accompanies smoking weed. We walked in circles through the fields, wondering if my dad could tell that we had just smoked the evil cannabis. It was unlikely since my dad could only smell apple pie and gasoline, or so he claimed.

The fields also provided tea-berry leaves for snacks. Golden seal root for curing my re-occurring canker sores. Once in a while I'd scare a rabbit out of the brush, or spot a fat groundhog on the path ahead. These were the same woods where the Wampanoags evaded the bloodthirsty and double-crossing colonists, who were exercising their manifest destiny with firepower. I was walking in their footsteps, oblivious to the screams and cries of hunger that once echoed through these swamp-lands in Rehoboth.

Now there are houses and cul de sacs in that field. When I was a toddler, there wasn't a house north of us on Dean street. It wasn't long before our street was paved, and houses and duplexes were lining the street. I continued to find solace in the fields and woods behind our property until I grew restless and joined the air force at age seventeen, but that desperation move is a blog post for another time. When I glance on Google earth and see the homestead as it is now, I ache for the comfort of those natural surroundings. It's a nostalgic ache that I cannot afford to cultivate.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Man Without a Toolbox

A man without a toolbox, is like a shark without teeth. It's emasculating to have to knock on your neighbor's door and ask to borrow a lug wrench. Although, it's funny when she goes through the toolbox in her garage briefly, before turning, and saying, "I have to admit...I don't know what a lug wrench is." I wondered why she was looking in the toolbox, when she had just pulled the car in. I borrowed the lug wrench from the back of her VW Passat, but it was too small. The lug wrench stored in the back of my dilapidated Subaru was too small. I guess I've got big nuts. My wife's brother drove up and his lug wrench fit just right. I got dirty and sweaty, changing tires, while my wife and her brother cheered me on. "Turn that wrench! Hoist that tire!"

There are many times I could have saved the day, if only I'd had the proper Allen wrench, or a decent pair of needle nose pliers. Once upon a time I had socket wrenches, crescent wrenches and hammers, screwdrivers: common and Phillips head. I used to change the oil regularly in my vehicles. I changed the head gaskets in my pick-up truck and the belts on Cutlass Supreme. Now I can barely get my hand into the engines of the new cars. The jacks and wrenches that come included with cars would barely qualify as Tinker Toys.

Rigby hamboning.
If I had a hammer....actually, there are two hammers in the basement, so I'm good on that score. Somebody once said, and I've repeated it, the only tools one needs is a hammer, vise-grips and duct tape. Yes, duct tape qualifies as a tool. It could save your life...that and ham-boning. My dad had a great toolbox. In fact, he had an entire wood shop on the second floor of red barn. He had a band saw, and a table saw. There were planes, chisels, clamps, and vises, oodles of nails and a pinup girl framed with a wooden toilet seat.

I still have vices, but I don't get hammered anymore. Drinking doesn't agree with my stomach and aging brain cells. The only monkey-wrenching I seem to do these days is in my relationships. Wife number three has been very tolerant of me and my lack of proper tools. Having a toolbox is one thing, but I must fill that box with all the tools most needed for any occasion. An oil can to take care of my aching joints. ("Bang on my chest if you think I'm perfect!") Oh yeah, and a sewing kit to repair my heart, when it is torn in half.
At the end of the day, I'm still a few screwdrivers short of a toolbox. I have plenty of books and papers, but when the apocalypse arrives in all it's nuclear glory, my library will just be so much kindling. Everything is ephemeral but at the most minuscule level, it's all infinity as far as the mind can think. Here in the big world, I still have time to make lunch before heading down the road to my job at the best independent bookstore in Seattle proper.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Socialism Kills Fascists - Bonus Video

With all the Drumpf nuttiness going on, this song comes to mind.

"You fascists are bound to lose."