July 31, 2009

July 30, 2009


While sitting on the porch we saw the mean old lady looking at us from her darkened house. That night wife had a dream that the mean old lady shot her in the arm but she knew the shot was meant for her head, and she had missed. I think the mean old lady has become a bit mentally unhinged;

One sandwich shy of a picnic
A screw loose somewhere
The porch light is on, but no one’s home
Elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top
Not playing with a full deck
One beer shy of a six pack
The Happy Meal is missing the toy
The ramekin is only half full of crème brulee
A couple of sentences short of a paragraph
A half pint short of a gallon
The hamster fell off the wheel
Two kilograms shy of a metric ton

I shouldn’t be flippant and cruel about mental illness, bless her cobwebbed crusty heart. The privacy fence building begins soon.

July 29, 2009

Bruce Springsteen

I read somewhere how Bruce Springsteen got his nickname. Before he was well known, he and his band would play at area bars around New Jersey. Afterward, the bar owner would pay Springsteen and he would distribute the money to his band members, hence, 'The Boss'.

Bruce Springsteen 'The River' Live in NYC.

Get Your Free Mercy Here

Mary Gauthier (pronounced go-shay) 'Mercy Now'

Snips and Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails

My wife’s brother and male cousins used to torment her with insects when she was a girl. Today she’s severely insect phobic as a result.

Somehow a small moth had found its way in and was flitting around the lamp next to me. I switched the lamp off.

“Why’d you turn the light off?”

Before I could answer, the moth landed on her neck.


For a split second she became almost invisible, jumping up off the couch while slapping at her neck. I tried but couldn’t stifle my laugh. She gave me the greasy eye and said she was going to put nutmeg in all my food.

She knows I dislike nutmeg with a passion. Whoever decided nutmeg would make a good spice must’ve been twisted. Every Christmastime wife will make a mulled cider, heavy on the nutmeg. Everyone drinks it but me.

I’d would just as soon eat gelatinous fish loaf, spam, or maybe a nice hot steaming bowl of fly soup.

July 28, 2009

Fun With Numbers

Twenty-one years ago this Thursday we were married.

The date was 7/30
The wedding took place at 7:30
Our hotel room number that night was 730
Our flight the next morning to Orlando was flight number 730
The flight left at 7:30.

Mean, Hateful, and Nasty

It never ceases to amaze me how many rude, mean, and downright nasty people you come across in life. Are they aware of their nasty aura? Do they get some sort of personal satisfaction in being hateful?

The population continues to spiral and cities continue to grow, causing a more and more impersonal, unkind, and uncaring brusqueness in people toward other people who are unknown to each other.

I know a man who places a value on every person he meets, no matter how unkempt in appearance or character he or she may be. He takes a genuine interest in whoever he meets and to him, there is no such thing as a stranger. He loves everyone he meets. I admire this man and I wish I could be more like him.

I catch myself being self centered and uncaring at times. As a Boy Scout I was expected to be: Cheerful, courteous, kind, obedient, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Those seven traits are still stuck in my head long after memorizing them when I became a Boy Scout, after all these years.

This morning my wife called me to say she was verbally abused by our neighbor…again. This neighbor is always ready to lob a nasty cannonball our way. We’ve never done anything to incur lashings from this woman’s venomous tongue. She’s said unbelievably vile things in the past…which I can’t repeat here.

My first thought was to pay her a visit when I got home and confront her with the things she said to my wife. After a while, I thought better of it. That never solves anything, and usually makes things worse. She’d probably enjoy it…hell, I know she would. I could call the police; after all, she did make a threat. What would the charge be? Could a seventy-odd year old woman be charged with terroristic threatening?

I think I’m going to put up a privacy fence, which we’ve thought of doing in the past. I think it’s time. I’ll put that sucker up against her ugly chain link fence and give her the ugly side to boot. Good fences make good neighbors after all….right?

July 27, 2009

Townes Van Zandt

Emmylou Harris performing the Townes Van Zandt song 'Pancho and Lefty' in 1977.

I used to have a big time crush on Emmylou but she never answered any of my letters.

Her bell like voice is even better today. I saw her perform in Louisville around 1973 or so. As I recall it was a damn fine concert.


Someone learned from his cousin the expression “duh”.

“Your juice is right there on the table.”
“Don’t duh me young man!”
“I didn’t duh you Mimi, I just said duh.”

July 23, 2009

Dave Matthews Bands

It's funny that no matter what Dave Matthews Band song I listen to always makes me feel young again....like college age again.

Dave Matthews Band 'Funny The Way It Is'

You'll Put Your Eye Out Kid

I guess I was around twelve years old, me and some of my buddies were riding our bikes around a catholic school playground, across the highway from where I grew up. I still can’t remember why the playground was filled with students and my buddies and I weren’t in school.

We were showing off, for there were a lot of girls watching, doing what we called “wipe-outs”; pedaling fast, braking hard which caused the back wheel to slide out to the right or left, depending on which way you turned the handlebars when braking.

I was speeding into the sandy asphalt and hit the brakes. My back wheel slid out to the right and hit an area with no sand. The rest happened in a split second. My back tire hit sand less asphalt and stuck, sending me and my bike tumbling. My head came down and my right eye hit the open end of my grip less handlebar.

Blood poured from my eye and I remember looking at all the horrified faces looking at me screaming in pain with my hand covering my eye. I walked my wrecked bike home.
For the next couple of weeks I sported a perfect circle of scab around my right black eye. I’m lucky I don’t wear an eye patch today. Arrrrgh!


I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. They paint a rosy picture, but once they came to install the satellite TV, you find out what they didn’t tell you while making their pitch.

They tell you about 1080p movies-on-demand but what they leave out is that the movies in the 1080p format are such a huge chunk of data which is too much bandwidth to run from the satellite, to your dish, and then to your TV.

You have to buy a wireless router to hook up to your modem and a wireless receiver to hook up to your DVR so you can download movie from the internet, to be blasted from your wireless router, to the wireless receiver, and then to your DVR. A decent wireless router and wireless receiver will run you about $160….but, hey, if you have a HD TV with 1080p, you can watch Blu ray quality movies without buying a Blu ray player.

Now if we just had an internet connection to download those 1080p movies. AT&T has screwed up and we won’t be online for another three or four days. Of course we’ll have a new email address that will look something like this: im_a_sucker@att.net

July 22, 2009

Prine Time

John Prine and Iris DeMent 'In Spite of Ourselves'


On Youtube I found a video of Wilco playing 'Impossible Germany' in a room...as simple as that. It's an impossibly good song.

July 21, 2009

Moon Landing

I was reading the Sunday paper and there was a special section about the fortieth anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing. I remember it very well because it happened on my birthday.

Hollywood is cleaning up copies of film footage that was beamed to Earth from the lunar module that day. NASA confessed that the original tapes were erased or taped over accidentally. How on earth could NASA let that happen? You would think they would keep the historic original film in a special vault or at least labeled, "Original Apollo 11 film, DO NOT delete or tape over!

As part of a family vacation we once went to Cape Canaveral and toured the Vehicle Assembly Building where NASA built the Apollo Saturn V rockets. One of the Apollo rockets was being assembled when we took the tour. I remember the tour group went up an elevator and out onto a catwalk. The size of the rocket was jaw dropping huge.

I wish I could have seen a Saturn V rocket launch in person. All who have witnessed it said it was an awesome spectacle to behold. If a Saturn V were launched today, I can almost see the commercial possibilities….”Today’s Saturn V rocket launch brought to you by Viagra!”

My Own

There is a peculiar way of referring to your relatives and I don’t know if it’s heard and said only in rural Kentucky, amongst my parents’ generation or if it’s more widespread and across many generations. I know it’s the first time I heard it.

I was talking to my father about the family who lives where my grandparents used to live.

“They’re your mother’s second cousins, or as your mother says, not her own.”

“Not her own what?”

Dad explained to me that it was common, where my mother grew up, to refer to your first cousins as “my own cousin” or simply “my own”. Interesting huh? Well, at least I thought so.

So here’s to you and yours... and your own.

July 16, 2009

Once Upon A Weekend

I remember it was close to the tax filing deadline, I think it was 2004, on a Saturday. Using a handsaw, I was sawing branches that had fallen out of the trees over the winter into smaller pieces to increase my kindling supply.

I was sawing a heavy larger branch and the saw blade caught in the wood, lifting the heavy branch on my upswing. I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder but after awhile I was able to finish what I had started.I went in to take a shower and noticed that my shoulder was gradually getting worse and by the time I put my jeans on, I couldn’t manage to pull my zipper up. The pain was intense and getting worse.

The wait in the emergency waiting area at the hospital was agony. I couldn’t sit still in a chair because of the pain and I paced around the whole time. At one point a woman walked up and asked me if I had a kidney stone. I thought to myself this must be what hell is like; just a huge emergency room full of suffering people who will never be seen to.

The young emergency room doc, seeing what pain I was in, gave me a syringe full of Demerol which didn’t do a lot for me; I was now a goof ball in a lot of pain. The ER doc said I had a slight temperature and had noticed a discoloration on the skin of my waistline. He thought there was a possibility of a strep infection and was getting a room ready. I could tell he was alarmed but excited about a strep case that walked in on his watch. This was shaping up to be a great weekend.

The young ER doc called in an orthopedic doc and he looked at the discolored spot on my waist and took my temperature again. “I’d hate to admit you for the possibility of a strep infection; let’s just aspirate your shoulder and we can find out right now if it’s strep or not.”

I looked around for wife who had vanished for parts unknown. Wife knows a lot of medical terms.

“What’s aspiration doc?”

“I’ll slide a needle into your shoulder and draw out fluid to see if it's a strep infection or not.”


“The nurse prepared the doc’s tray for the aspiration procedure and walked over to my good side and did a kind of hammer lock on my arm. All I needed was a belt of whiskey and a stick to bite down on. He came at me with the needle. If the nurse hadn’t been holding my good arm down, I would have tried to hit him.

It wasn’t a strep infection but “severe acute tendonitis”. I knew what tendonitis was from my years playing tennis but I didn’t know it could be severe and acute at the same time. I know it’s the worse pain I’ve ever had before or since. Wife suggested I try giving birth sometime.

We got home about two in the morning after stopping by the drug store for pain pills. I sat in the bedroom chair while wife made grill cheese sandwiches for us. We were both famished. I had taken two of the pain pills. Wife later said I was sitting with my head down, eyes closed, and loosely holding onto my grilled cheese sandwich.

I’m still not much of a chain saw man as there’s just too much that can go wrong. Just a one slip up is all it takes for a serious injury. I still use a hand saw but carefully and only on a stable surface.


Wow, I've never heard of this group before. They're good. They've been around since 98 and if you like labels on your music they call themselve a post-modern indie pop band. I think I'll have to purchase some of their music.

Pinback 'Concrete Seconds'

July 15, 2009


I'd forgotten how good the full version of 'Black Magic Woman' was until I'd heard it recently on the radio.

Good Summer Song

Regina Spektor 'Folding Chair'

Woodstock Anniversary

Forty years ago this August, The Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on Max Yasgur's 600 acre farm in Bethel, New York. Max Yasgur leased his farm for $75,000 and was told about 50,000 people would attend. Approximately 500,000 people showed up. The ticket price was eighteen dollars for the three day festival but soon turned into a free concert because of the huge attendence.

Santana 'Soul Sacrifice' Woodstock '69

Carlos Santana today recalling Woodstock.

How Much Info do You Need?

This developement in information technology is in our very near future. We're closer than you think making the real world virtualized.

July 14, 2009



July 10, 2009

Heard at The Workplace Today

"I bought this can of tuna and I can't open this can of tuna; I have no can opener."

July 9, 2009

New Music

The first time I heard this on the radio I thought it was some older folk singer. He sounded sort of like Pete Seeger. His name is Paolo Nutini from Scotland and he’s only 22.

Paolo Nutini’s ‘Candy’ from his second album ‘Sunny Side Up’.

Echoes of an Ice Storm

It was like coming home to Grand Central Station. The driveway was full with work vehicles but I saw no one on the roof. I snaked my way in between a van, an unhitched trailer, and several bundles of shingles.

Our front yard looked like a tornado had hit. Remnants of our side yard pine and magnolia were cut up in pieces and strewn about, to be chipped up, hopefully by tomorrow.

Wife was sitting at the porch table reorganizing the bill holder. I could see the roofers sitting around on our deck; they were all holding popsicles.

Wife said she thought someone had fallen off because the roofers were scurrying off the roof at the same time, running to the front of our house. She saw the ice cream truck pull up and the roofers gathering around.

Popsicle break was over and they all went back up the ladder, a few with bundles of shingles on their backs.

Pop, pop, pop went the nail guns and the air compressor started it’s hum, hum, humming. Whump, whump, whump went the bundles of shingles dropped on the roof. See the roofers. See the roofers make a racket. See bb and wife try to converse. See bb and wife leave the house for a quiet dinner somewhere.

July 8, 2009

Adventures in Marriage

Last night I mowed, watered the flowers, and generally cleaned up outside. Wife got home from walking with Abby and reminded me that we needed to make a trip to Fresh Market to pick up some coffee and other stuff.

I slipped on my boat shoes and off we went. Despite my bad attitude at having to go, I love that place, the classical music, the slight bleach-clean-as-a-whistle-smell, and the stuff you can’t find anywhere else.

I told wife I’d go over and get the coffee while she perused the flowers. A third of my first scoop full missed the bag and beans bounced around the coffee barrels. I can be such a klutz. I saw an employee roll her eyes.

I was looking in the freezer section and saw a package that said ‘Banana Babies’ and I just had to have it; frozen bananas on a stick, dipped in either dark or milk chocolate.

Waiting at the checkout I was feeling what I thought was a pebble in my shoe. I took the shoe off and a coffee bean skittered on the floor. My wife rolled her eyes.

After a shower, I plopped down on the couch and was eating a banana baby.

“Let me have a bite.”
“You hate bananas.”
“I just wanna try it, just one bite.”
She took a bite.
“Told ya.”

Steely Dan 'FM'

Procol Harum

The song that stands the test of time.
Procol Harum 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' 1967

Building Zen

A few years ago, when building our garden shed, we were framing the rough opening for the double doors I had planned to install. I was getting ready to nail in the doubled 2x4 into place and my then son-in-law, who had zero experience in this sort of thing, was holding the level against the doubled 2x4.

“Let me know when that bubble is right in the middle.”

“Now do you want this square to the earth, or square to the shed?”

I wasn’t sure what to say.

July 6, 2009

New Fangled

My Grandmother lived about fifty miles away from us. One year she had surgery on her arthritic knees and used a walker while recuperating after the surgery.

My mother bought her a cordless phone so she would be able to keep the phone with her to answer calls without having her get up. Cordless phones were a kind of new fangled convenience at the time.

One day grandmother called and she and mom talked for quite a while.

“Well mother, we’d better hang up since we’re talking on your nickel.”
“Oh that’s OK Joyce, I’m using the cordless phone.”

The Agoraphopic Flea

We went to a flea market yesterday. We saw:

Over the shoulder boulder holders
Wool Rugs
Wheel lugs
Fake bugs
Toe rings
Vacation flings
Vanity plates
Cheese grates
Wheel cleaners
Orange squeezers
Bathroom remodelers
Veneer installers
Hard and paperback books
Crochet hooks
Old Life magazines issues
Holders of tissues
Chow chow (hot and mild)
Pepper relish
Pepper jelly
Orange blossom honey
Spun honey
Fruit jams
Flim flams
Knick knacks
Doo dads
Gee gaws
Paddy whacks
First aids
Diamond rings
Napkin rings
Coin silver spoons
Wooden Loons

And people of every:


July 3, 2009

Iron Like A Man

I did some ironing this morning, mostly shirts I wear to work. The board was set up on the porch so I could watch some TV while ironing. This is a chore which I do occasionally to help out wife and while it's a tedious job, once you get a rhythm going it's mildly pleasurable.

Rob Thomas was lip synching his latest music to a crowd in New York City on the Today Show. I turned to the Jazz music station and let sax wanderings glide my iron through the wrinkles. I was ironing a seersucker shirt while day dreaming to the music, paying half attention to what I was doing.

I must have ironed the shirt twice because I looked down and it seemed the seer was ironed right out of that sucker.

July 2, 2009

Useless but Interesting Tidbit of Information

Did you know that U.S. Highway 60 (aka Shelbyville Road) which most people who live in Kentucky are familiar with, runs almost the breadth of the United States?

From Wikipedia:

"U.S. Route 60 is an east-west United States highway, running 2,670 miles from eastern Virginia to western Arizona. Despite the final "0" in its number, indicating a transcontinental designation, the 1926 route formerly ended in Springfield, Missouri, at its intersection with the major U.S. Route 66. In fact, Route 66 was almost given the US Route 60 number.

As of 2005, the highway's eastern terminus is in Virginia Beach, Virginia, at Pacific Avenue in the city's oceanfront resort district at the Rudee Inlet Bridge. Its western terminus was in Los Angeles, California, from 1932 to 1966, but that was moved to east of Quartzsite, Arizona, to an intersection with Interstate 10 after the highway was abandoned in California in 1964. Some US 60 signs can be seen at this intersection — that is about five miles west of Brenda, Arizona. Interstate 10 replaced US 60 from Arizona to Beaumont, California, and California State Highway 60 replaced US 60 from there to Los Angeles. On August 31, 2009, Route 60 will have western terminus back to Los Angeles, California.

Twin Peaks

Remember the TV series by David Lynch called 'Twin Peaks'? We loved it. I'm not sure whether I watched it to see the intro, or the show itself.

The Wrestler

We watched ‘The Wrestler’ last night. It was one of the best films I’ve seen. The small independent films are some of the best. Mickey Rourke was perfect in the lead role.

July 1, 2009

Ed Wood

Ed Wood wrote, produced, and directed 'Plan 9 From Outer Space' which is considered the worse film ever made. Ed Wood was a cross-dresser and made the movie 'Glen or Glenda' in 1953, a quite shocking film for it's time. Wood played the title role of Glen/Glenda.

The only reason his films are still watched today is that they are quite funny for the fact that they're so bad.

Dire Straits

'Why Worry'

Micro Economics

I was driving the mile or so on my way home the other day and I saw a woman leaving the empty parking lot of a small office building. She was waiting to pull out onto the highway. She was crying.