Friday, February 29, 2008

Why I dislike eating at restaurants that don't have a chef and trained staff in the kitchen:
Being one to stick to a self-promise as much as possible, I went to Kroger today to make use of their salad bar for a nutritious and low calorie lunch. It has been about a month since I was in the store, and everything was as usual then, at least I think it was. Today though, there was no salad bar; they closed it down without consulting me. For the most part, that has been my life story ..., hardly anyone knows I exist and I don't get consulted. As it should be, because I've tried to lead a life of anonymity. If no one knows I exist, I can't be blamed for anything. I've found even at nearly six feet and six inches tall and weighing more than 250 pounds, I'm hardly noticeable.

In all our legal stuff, such as car titles and mortgage, Carolyn's name appears first, much to her dismay.
I am finally getting over my cold; it was a good one so I decided to hold on and nourish it as long as possible.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Went out today to buy livestock feed. Birds and squirrels aren't on a diet; just me. Each holiday season we buy sacks of mixed nuts from Sam's Club, and I always get an extra sack for the squirrels. One Brazil nut can replace a whole lot of sun flower seeds. They've finished off half their supply in the last week, and they seem very happy.

We have no pets other than our wild ones, but we worry about them like people do their dogs and cats when they get ill. If we find a downed bird we try to nurse it back to health; same with a squirrel or chipmunk.
One more day in this extended February, and still no robins.
About the diet: Do you know how difficult it is to eat just four Girl Scout shortbread cookies when you are used to eating an entire box full at one time. It is exasperating! So far though, I'm sticking with my objective to beat Nature's planned obsolescence.
I intend to get my year's worth of hair growth removed come Saturday, along with having my beard dispatched. I have a feeling though that I will regrow the beard. Regular shaving cuts into my quality time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Is it any wonder I see no robins?

For my diet lunch, I am having October beans, creasy greens, potato salad, corn-on-the-cob, and cornbread

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cripes; this diet thing is terrible. It's just after 2:00 pm and I just had my first meal of the day, consisting of four slices of plain toast, one banana, and half a glass of white grape juice. Earlier I drank a Gator Ade. "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." Two things I detest in life are death and diets.
Thunderstorms this morning and the temp is still mild; snow tomorrow.
Still no robins sighted by me, though others say they've seen a few.
I have no photos to publish here, on Flickr, or anywhere. I am dieing to get out and make a few. Hopefully this weekend.
I have three boxes of Girl Scout cookies to eat, but the bulge says NO! What shall I do?

Monday, February 25, 2008

The economy hit us another blow today; two jobs Carolyn has had for many years are cutting back by fifty-percent on her service. They are both credit union branches, and their customers are having problems making mortgage and car payments. Another credit union cut her back just last week. A rumor has it that some banks she has are up for sale, and if so, she will stand a good chance of losing them. She has had their accounts for 10 years.

I am going to raise just about every account of hers, some because they are past due being raised, and all will have an increase for motor fuel. Two-and-one-half years ago was her last raise on any of her accounts, and our monthly gasoline bill was about $400. Now, it is nearly $850. She will probably lose some more buildings, but I am trying to convince her to retire completely in September anyway. She still wants to hold on to enough to make about $1,000 per month and still draw full SS.

The type of "Big Business First" economy that all recent Republican Administrations insist on have never helped the middle class or poor in the long run. We gladly swap our future for short-lived tax rebates and high military spending. The spending isn't only costing huge amounts of money, but also American lives to a misbegotten war, not to mention the prestige of a once great and envied nation.

Every two-bit scum-bum cousin to a Sheik in the mid-east owns more prime property in the United States than any middle class tax paying American can ever think of having. Damn it America, wake up!
The weather looked crappy this morning so I didn't go for waterfall photos. Maybe spring will be here one of these months and I can get out then. Making pics of items on my desk isn't really my cup of tea.
Well, the Vols are officially #1 in the Associated Press basketball poll, but I fear it will be a short lived reign. They face arch-rival Vanderbilt tomorrow night in Nashville, and the Commodores have one of their better basketball teams.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


From the How Come dept.:

How come when I stop at the grocery store with Carolyn, and she goes in to pick up an item or two, it takes her 30 minutes to do her thing? Other people go in after she does and return with a cart full of groceries from all over the store long be fore she comes out with her one or two items.
But wait...
She never comes out with just one or two items she went in to get! No! She also comes out with a cart full of stuff from all over the store, and half the time she forgot to get what she went after to begin with. Worse yet, a lot of the items she buys are not needed; things like candy and cookies and something "new and improved" and items "on sale". No wonder I'm putting on the pounds.

Carolyn is a merchant's best friend; she is a compulsive shopper.

However I did ask her to get some Girl Scout cookies yesterday; I like their shortbread cookies. The photo is not an advertisement from Girl Scouts of the USA. It was made by me. The items were arranged on my desk and the photo was taken with my Canon point-and-shoot camera mounted on a tripod. the background was deleted and redone with a gradient fill. I didn't have to get out of my chair to do this. That may be another reason I'm putting on weight; trifling L.A.Z.Y!
Get your cookies and information @:
For supper last, Carolyn made spaghetti. She doesn't make it often, and this time her sauce turned out a little thin but tasted superb; her best effort ever. The house was filled with the aroma of fresh pounded garlic, and her crusty bread was great. I have life too good... it takes great effort on my part to not tell her how much she is loved and appreciated.
Yesterday wasn't quite as crappy as I let on....

Saturday, February 23, 2008

This morning I noticed the finches are putting on their breeding colors. Spring is running a little late here this year, but I would much rather have that than the calamity we had last year when it was beautiful and extra warm in late February and early March, just to have our coldest weather of the year for four straight days in mid-March. All the buds froze, and there were few dogwood blossoms, let alone fruit tree flowers.
Other than that, it is a pretty crappy day... again. Still no robins sighted.
Have to go to Elizabethton for a while this afternoon, then nothing to do 'til game time tonight.
Back from Elizabethton. Carolyn has to work tomorrow, and I will more than likely resume the income tax thing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

As I was about to get dressed this morning, a rare thing happened; I had a thought. As I mulled over whether I should wear undershorts, I thought 'why don't pants have undershorts built in'? I always change underwear when I change pants anyway, and I never wear pants for more than four or five days without changing. It would save a step in the dressing process, and decisions as to wear or not wear bloomers would be moot.

I have to get ready to go see Dr. deWit, so I reckon I will put on some underwear, if I can find some that aren't full of holes or the waistband isn't coming off. I have to undress to my shorts for her, so I imagine she would appreciate me having a little cover. Or not.
I'm back from the doc's office. 276 lbs, bp 130/85, heart rate 116 bpm. Chest X-Ray next week. At least I still have my great looks and sense of humor.
I feel pretty good today; better than I've been in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lousy day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The temperature outside is mild but the wind is being a bitch. More days of high winds this year than I can remember.
Vicki told me to keep my beard and put beaded braids in it. If I do so, I may as well keep my long hair and have it braided and beaded. I will probably look like Predator.
Have to go to Kingsport early tomorrow to look at a new job possibility; another doctor's office. Friday, I have a doc's appointment for an arthritis checkup. Carolyn is wanting to tag a long so she can rat to the doc about the problems I've been recently having. I'll try to sneak away from her.
Today was country cooking day with October beans (Shellys), fried potatoes, canned whole tomatoes, cornbread, and bread pudding made from home baked biscuits for desert. There will be thunder in Dixie tonight.
Going to be cloudy tonight and I'll miss the full moon and eclipse; I never tire of eclipses.
Last evening, I was thinking about something John (my dad) told me. He said during the 1930s and the Great Depression, his family was lucky. He owned three pairs of pants, and when he wore them all at the same time, you could still see his ass in five places.

He didn't think very highly of President Herbert Hoover.

They ate sawmill gravy poured over cornbread at nearly every meal. Sometimes they had fried potatoes and fresh milk. All that, his love for McDonald's food, and cigarettes are probably the culprits that killed him on February 19, 1986. He had just celebrated his sixty-fifth birthday on February 02.

When he was discharged from the Army after WWII, he had to pull 128 days in stockade for various offenses during his service. AWOL, fighting, and catching the Clap twice were on his resume. I am the result of an AWOL. He underwent the old "hot wire" treatment to cure the Clap. Dot (my mom) wasn't too proud of his service years, except for having me.

John was a paratrooper and earned a sharpshooter badge in basic training. He was supposed to make a jump into Italy with his outfit, but was hospitalized in England with a broken arm he received in a pub brawl; he was hell with his fists. I saw him take on a golden gloves champion ten years his junior and knock him cold within a few seconds.

He did recover in time to fight in the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded in the leg, arm, and face by shrapnel on January 09, 1945 while fighting in Belgium. That was the last duty at the front for him. I have his service medals, including his paratrooper wings, his sharpshooter badge, and his Purple Heart.

Last Labor Day, Carolyn and I visited his Army induction and indoctrination base in Fort Oglethorpe, GA, which is just outside Chattanooga, TN. First time I had been there since the early 50s, when he took us for a tour of the recently abandoned base. Most all that is left now are a few Quonset huts they used for barracks, and one building that is still used as a museum by the 6th Cavalry.

His outfit was the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team, known as The Battling Buzzards.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I went out last evening and made a photo of the moon. That wasn't abnormal for me, but what was different was when I looked at the pic on the computer, the moon was blue. Man, that only happens once in a blue moon. It was due to wispy cloud cover, and I figured it would come out thusly. I shot one on film back in the 80s that turned out blue on a print.
Cold this morning, yet verging on spring. Still, no robin for me; but I keep looking.
Isn't today just the greatest day ever? Of course it is; it is the last time we will ever see it and there shall never be another like it. Enjoy it as long as you may because tomorrow is only a future memory, but today is extant.
Time to start thinking about a trip to the creek and a springtime cleansing of the skin. Damn, I like getting naked in the woods. It is odd seeing so much water in the streams; the ongoing drought had them to a trickle. I must also cut my whiskers and hair. When March arrives, it will be six months since last I shaved, and a full year ere scissors were laid to my locks. A narcissistic photo is called for before trimming back to the real world.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Male Cardinal

Even with the bit of chill in the air, this morning has a springtime quality. Birds that have been quiet for most of winter are singing, and others are beginning mating calls. The sun's angle is higher and gives a different feeling to the light, even on an overcast day such as this. Scrawny-looking male squirrels are giving chase to loathing females, and daffodils are sprouting in the flowerbed. The lawn grass is re-greening, dogwood buds are swelling, but I still await sight of a robin.
I'm almost well from this weekend's near health disaster; just a bit short of breathe still. At least it was a lot more bearable this time, and I was able to drive Carolyn to Elizabethton yesterday.

Being reluctant to push my luck and get away from home for photos, I sat in the car and photographed birds in and around our backyard. Most were unsatisfactory because of the limits of my camera lens. A max focal length of 72mm isn't near good enough for birding, but I will have to work with it unless a digital SLR falls into my lap. Not likely.
I've been thinking about the big rebate with which King George and his Court are threatening us. I'll probably boost the economy with my $300, by buying a couple gallons of gasoline. This will also help the future ex-King George when he falls on hard times back in Texas. By purchasing petroleum products, we fatten his oil stock portfolio to the point he may again be able to afford nose candy.
President of the USA! A position that can elevate a person from dirt poor to a lifetime of plump pension checks and free health care by being on the job only one day. It is the same with our beloved Congressional folk and Federal Judges. Plus many others.

Ever notice how down-homey our Representative and Senators—State and Federal—are when they are campaigning? Even after they are elected and spending rare moments with their "constituents", they put on their good-old-boy facades. "Rusty" Crowe is a fine example; not only was he disloyal to the party that got him elected, he puts on the charm when telling us "my constituents have let me know they don't want a state income tax". This is most likely true; he just doesn't say that it is his wealthiest Republican constituents whom are using him for a mouthpiece. Yes, a snake has a very disarming demeanor while it sinks its fangs into the flesh. After all, Rusty and the snake are are taking care of themselves first.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Y'all remember the movie Jaws, and the theme music that led up to each attack? Dum-dum, dum-dum-dum, dum-dum dum-dum ...
I'm doing taxes today ...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Feeling bad again today. Third straight Saturday with the same malady striking. Had plans for a photo adventure into the deep wilderness of Jonesborough, but I suppose I will have to sit here and try to breathe. So far, prescriptions, prayers, pills, potions, and poultices haven't done any good.

There is one thing common to Saturdays that may be causing my problem; Friday's methotrexate injections. I've been taking these shots for many years, and haven't had a problem with them. Things, change however, and I as I get older, none of the changes seem to be for the good. If the doctor takes me off the injections, I'm as good as dead because I will be bedridden, and I made up my mind many years ago that I was not going to tolerate any lengthy bed stays for illness. There has to come a time when one assesses the value of his own life. We have no control over the beginning and early years of our existence, but we certainly do have some physical and complete moral control over the we live and the way we choose to end it, barring unforeseeable calamities such as accidents.
On top of all that, I have to resume working on income tax. I wistfully wish the US had a flat rate income tax, but it will never happen. With such a system, the wealthy would carry the largest burden of taxes, and it is how it should be. It won't make them poor, and it won't make the middle class rich. What it will be is fair, and that is why it won't happen; the upper class rule this country with an iron wallet, and the system is so set in place with our "free market" economy that only something very drastic will change it.
Feeling better now. Maybe I'll slide by this time so I can put the hari-kiri knife away for the time being.
Still haven't seen my first spring robin.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I've added a few more photos to Loose Pics.
This has been a weired week, but I too am weired so we fit nicely. A week of spurts of busy and hours of loafing.
Today, we decided we wanted a gut-buster from the Dairy Queen, and the easiest to get to is on the East side of town. We drove over there just to find it was closed for remodeling. The whole week has been like that.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Je t'aime ...

Happy Valentine's Day to all starry-eyed romantics, wannbe Don Juans, and melancholy Juliets. We celebrate another semi-holiday that has lost its meaning to commercialism. "I love you" isn't enough today because everyone knows it must be said with flowers, chocolates, jewelry--or my personal favorite--lingerie.

For this was on seynt Volantynys day

Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese
[choose] his make [mate]
--Geoffrey Chaucer
Is your mate as passionate as he or she was at the beginning of your romance?
Do you think your mate should be more passionate on Valentine's Day than on other days?
Are you more passionate on Valentine's day?
Does a Valentine's gift make you more romantic?
What gift do you prefer receiving on this day of Cupid?
What gift do you prefer giving your soul mate?
Twas on this day when we wed
Many days as this have passed
First we bedded with fire of lust
Then came a greater passion of love
Long since you are gone
Loving with another
Alone I wait for love
I'm staying with my mother

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The photo is of Orion the Hunter with Sirius the Dog Star at his heel. ISO 200, f/8, 15 sec. These are winter constellations which are fading to the west as spring approaches. Sirius is the brightest star in our night sky, and Orion is one of the easiest constellations to recognize. The red star at top and left of center is Betelgeuse, commonly referred to as beetle juice. Click or double-click on photo to enlarge. It could have been better, but my camera's lowest shutter speed is 15 sec. I'll have to get the Nikon film camera into action and get some real pics.
Going out this afternoon to inspect a new building for a possible bid. Wish us good luck, although I don't believe in luck. Now that really makes good sense.
Didn't go out after all, but will go tomorrow; maybe.
We received out third major snowstorm of the season today; nearly a quarter inch. Breaking out the snowshoes and parka, but I won't have to hitch up the huskies to go to the store.
Carolyn drove all the way to the east end of Elizabethton just to discover she had the wrong building key with her. This is probably the start of some similar incidents, as it seems like when it happens, more follow. I usually have to take her the correct key, but not this time. Too far away for she and Vicki to sit and wait 'til I get there. She will make it up tomorrow night.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin
February 12, 1809—April 19, 1882
A scientist in the truest sense...
Don't you wish I was still sick, Alice. Hardy-har!
Today was Abe Lincoln's birthday.
The Reverend Donald Strother died yesterday ... I will not miss him. His legacy of religious deceit and moral bigotry still plagues this once progressive town. He was the lead spokesman for an "outraged community" that blocked Marilyn Manson from appearing in JC. With that self righteous move, he and his kind dealt a death blow to Freedom Hall's music concerts. Rock bands won't even consider JC for appearances, and about all that is left for the venue is rodeos, of which he approved. The needless torture of animals is all right in the name of God. This rat hole of a town and community needs to die a slow, lingering, and painful death. It is happening.
Drove over to Fall Branch this morning and picked up some surplus supplies and equipment. I got a couple of photos of the chimneys of the old farm mansion which some cretin burned to the ground summer last. We drove on into Greene County, where I was fortunate to find a very pretty water fall along the road. Didn't get a photo, as there was no place nearby to park. Will try to go back next weekend with Carolyn driving and maybe I can get a shot.
Worked on an important bid this afternoon. Hope she can get this job because we desperately need it. The economic recession has caused her to lose a lot of work as services such as hers are the first things to get cut back during hard times. This is the worst it has ever been.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I will be back tomorrow ...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Just read an obit that a school friend of mine has died. He was Larry Poore, and was living in Kingsport.

I wrote about a couple of our small adventures in Loose Laces on August 21 and 22, 2007.

I lost contact with Larry over the years, but he was one of the people whom I shall never forget. He introduced me to Carolyn, my bride of 43 years.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Feeling poorly again...


Friday, February 08, 2008

I placed a few more photos on Loose Pics.
I didn't sleep well last night, but at least I did that well. On such nights, I have visions—not like the the ones Jerry Falwell had—of concepts and words; worlds of concepts and galaxies of words. I don't necessarily think of things to blog, but mostly erratic pieces of the work of real authors whose work I have read, and pieces of stories I need to write. Therein lies a problem; I am not a gifted writer. I am an old electrician and ne'er do well whom tries to over achieve. Sometimes though, a gem of an idea will form as words and concepts momentarily align in front of my mind's insatiable eye. Part of an idea for a story, or maybe even a poem if I'm lucky, came to me like a head rush sometime during the early morning.

As usual, it is based on a part of my past life, but not so far gone this time; in fact it concerns some happenings in my life over the past year or so. I've wanted to try my hand at a detective story, a whodunnit type thing, and I believe this will be the perfect plot for me. As of now, it is till a concept and pitifully shy of words. But, the seed has been sown and we shall see if I am a good enough thinker and writer to nurture it and eventually reap the reward of acceptable prose. If I do pull it off, it should be adequate to finally have a full book of short stories. A small publisher has already agreed to commit a book into print if I can put enough stories, quality essays, and poems together.
As for ideas to use for this blog, it is usually written on a spur of the moment thing. That's one reason it most times makes little sense. Sometimes I go back and read stuff I wrote here a year or more ago, and it is embarrassing, and even more nonsensical than the stuff I write now. I should have stayed with pulling wires through conduits!
Bonne nuit, y'all!


By the Chinese calendar, this be the year of the Rat. Fortunately, I was born in 1944, which was the year of the Monkey, as was 1956 and 1968. Suitable for me, as I am a proponent of evolution. Not the theory, mind you, but the fact; once a scientific theory has been proven, it becomes a fact.

Under the Chinese system, my element is Wood and my aspect is (+) which is Masculine or Yang. For 1956, the element is Fire, and the aspect is (+) which is Masculine or Yang. For 1968, the element is Earth and the aspect stays Yang. Each Yang year is followed by its opposite which is Yin.
The following is from a Chinese Year Chart

As a quick rule of thumb, the principles governing each element and thus the modifications they produce within each sign are:
Metal - Fixity, strength of will, fluency of speech
Water - Powers of reflection, sensitivity, persuasiveness
Wood - Imagination, creativity, idealism, compassion
Fire - Dynamism, passion, energy, aggression, leadership
Earth - Stability, reliability, practicality, industry, prudence
Chinese wisdom sees a polarity in every element, a negative and a positive side, an essentially feminine (passive, represented by -) or masculine (active, represented by +) disposition, or in Chinese terminology, Yin and Yang. Consequently, each element is repeated twice in succession so that it presents in the first year its Yang, or masculine side, and reverses the next year into its Yin polar opposite. This chart, taken from the Chinese perpetual calendar, lays out each year together with that year's animal sign, its element and its masculine or feminine principle.
The chart of years from 1900-2007 can be found here:

Look up your favorite person's year and see if you may be compatible, ie; my Wood can exist without Fire, but Fire cannot exist without Wood. At least that's the way I see it. They seem the to balance one another.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I am finally feeling better; actually pretty good for the first time in more than a month. I've had some prostate problems nagging me, and I wasn't allowing them to heal. Now I am, and I feel like a virgin again. Somebody had better watch out when I do decide I'm ready, 'cause I am loaded!
We are now gaining more than two minutes daylight each day. Everything seems to be coming together, and I may wax poetic at just any time.
I have one major problem facing me; a thing not entirely of my own doing but something I alone will have to deal with. If I can keep depression at bay until I can come up with a solution, or worse, until the problem resolves itself, I shall be very surprised. It is nothing anyone else can do anything about, and it isn't medically related.

But, at the moment I'm happy as a lark, so I shall enjoy it for as long as possible. I'm just looking forward to spring.
Another day winds down and the sunset, though always striking, wasn't as colorful as usual. I love dusk, the time just after sunset and until near total darkness. In warm weather, I sit on the porch and plot my little schemes for next day, move to a chair under the stars, and await the first glitter in the darkening sky. I love the night sky, but total darkness is difficult to find anymore, even in this isolated piece of the world. Leo, my favorite springtime constellation will be in the sky later tonight.
Have a good evening...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Heck of a storm this morning.
Last autumn, I downloaded and installed AOL's AIM instant messaging program. Only used it a couple of times, but left it on the machine in case I needed it. Later on, a newer version came along, and I allowed it to upgrade itself. Not long after the process completed, the program I use for "adjusting" my photos—Paintshop Pro 11—began crashing, being slow to load, and using all the machine's processor cycles for many minutes. Of course I didn't make the connection that the two programs may be incompatible because I am somewhat dim witted and slow.

Recently, and after googling for a while, I found that AIM has caused much havoc to computers using certain programs, but AOL denies their software is to blame. This apparently has been ongoing for several years with different programs having compatibility problems. I immediately removed AIM from my machines, and have had no problems since.
I suppose relationships amongst people are similar, in that sometimes we become incompatible with each other because of changes that one or both parties have made. The changes may have been made innocently, carelessly, or with the intention of causing problems, but whatever the reason, generally troubles occur and the parties become mismatched. Sometimes the parties are best separated from each other until the issues can be resolved. There may always be resolution, and "never" and "forever" are words that should be used with caution, especially when in the heat of verbal battle.
Other than high winds from nature and from my sermon, today has been quiet. Good night, all ...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I've added a few more photos to Loose Pics. Link on sidebar -->.
About a month ago, Chris was visiting a local pet store when she was attacked by an uncaged cockatoo. It grabbed her hand in its beak and began twisting flesh. She wound up at the emergency room where she was treated and filed a police report. As of today, the wound has not healed. She asked me what I thought she should do. I told her to ask a lawyer, hoping a letter from him to the pet shop owner might get her medical expenses paid. There is more to this, but I cannot comment at the present.
Speaking of lawyers, after the accident at TI that I wrote about yesterday, a lawyer acquaintance wanted me to allow him to file a lawsuit on my behalf against Texas Instruments. I told him no, that TI was not to blame. He said they were indirectly and directly at blame. Still, I refused. One problem with this country now is lawsuits over mere inconveniences. No lawsuit would have restored my hearing, and money would have done nothing but bought beer. I do have at least a tiny conscience, and a smattering of human pride.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The stove Carolyn bought last fall has a self cleaning oven; the first of such she has ever had. After stinking up the house and, in probability, most of the neighborhood yesterday while cooking a pot roast, she tried the self cleaner today. Seems to work well, and it gave me a chance to sit by an open window and listen to a nearby tree sparrow serenade the world. It was breathtaking in its beautiful simplicity. A little later, thunder boomed around the area for a few minutes, and as I write this, it rains in a steady, heavy drizzle. The sparrow singing and the thunder were the first sure signs of spring, and I expect to see robins in the yard any day. It has lifted my spirits to a level I've not enjoyed since last fall, and just thinking about hearing a robin thrills me. Hearing anything above this irritating tinnitus is a good thing.
Alice, do you remember the little accident that caused most of the deafness in my left ear? I was a victim of horseplay of the foulest kind; in other words, horseplay in which I wasn't involved as a participant. It was at the old Texas Instruments plant where Glen and George decided to try to scare the girls at supper. It was the summer of '74, and the ladies were taking their evening meal at the picnic tables near the maintenance exit. Glen came up with the idea to fill a plastic garbage bag with an oxygen-acetylene mixture, sneaking it close to where the girls were sitting, and setting it off with a long fuse made of burning toilet paper.

All this was happening while "Ken the Innocent" was making repairs on the "round table" fry pan thermostat assembler on the other side of the plant. Just after finishing my work, I poked my head out the maintenance room exit door where George and Glen were setting up the fireworks. Glen was wearing jeans, but George was donning his usual knit slacks of some sort. As they finished filling the large bag with gas, George must have rubbed the plastic against his pants leg causing a static-electric spark, but all I saw was a huge flash and heard some popping noises. Glen came into maintenance area laughing, while poor George was completely bewildered. Both had singed and burned hair, no noticeable eyebrows or lashes, George's nose was bleeding from a cut on its bridge, and his slacks legs were tattered. I couldn't hear a darn thing except popping noises in my right ear, and nothing with my left. George and Glen were moving their lips, but I couldn't make out a word; but then, neither could they as we were all temporarily deafened. Here then came running the two male and nameless line supervisors whom had caused the building to be cleared in fear of another explosion. About that time, my right ear popped loudly, hurt like hell, and I could hear again. The two nameless ones assessed the sights, assembled a committee meeting amongst themselves, harumphed a time or two, called we three peons together, and commenced to chew on our asses. Little red haired George was in no mood for any of this, his blood-red face went deep crimson, and he broke in and said something like this, "I can't hear a word you two are yammering, but if it's what I think is, both of you are fixing for an ass whipping. Now get the hell back on your lines and leave me alone".

Glen had already walked away laughing, George was fuming, and I was totally confused but had enough sense to get between our antagonists and George, promising both of them that if George couldn't complete the project of beating their asses, then I would happily do so.

It must have been a very loud explosion, as it was easily heard more than a mile away by a day shift supervisor at his home.

I never did regain complete hearing in either ear, and now am nearly deaf on the left side. I ended up accepting the blame for the unfortunate occurrence, and easily made the first plant-wide layoff. Why? I was a tradesman and could get work anywhere and anytime I wanted it. It wouldn't have been as easy for Glen or George, especially George, because he had no real trade. Glen was a machinist and first class mechanic, but he wasn't quite as independently minded as I. Oh yeah, those were the good old days.

There is more to this sad tale, but this is all care to recall.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Grover Groundhog is fortunate; after seeing his shadow this morning, he will be able to hibernate six more weeks. On the other hand, we humans must go about our daily affairs and be bombarded with political garbage during that time. "Super Tuesday" is coming next week, and I'm so sick of the lies. Another bad is the leap year curse; an extra day for campaigning. A year in which we should be celebrating an extra day of life is dirtied by politics. I wish someone less human was running for president. Now I'm mad again.
The local rag is touting an article about certain area preachers whom are proponents of evolutionary science and creationism merrily walking hand in hand. They are to have an "Evolution Weekend" on February 10. Horse hockey! The fact of evolution and the myth of religion are too far apart to be even remotely compared. Now I'm even madder.
I read that Microsoft has made an offer to buy Yahoo. If it comes to be, it will pretty well end my relationship with Flickr. Microsoft has managed to screw up everything it touches and I have tried to distance myself from the behemoth as much as possible. In fact, if it wasn't for one piece of business software I need, I would use Linux exclusively.
Became very ill this afternoon ... feeling a little better tonight.

Friday, February 01, 2008

For anyone interested, I have a new blog just for photos that may or may not show up on Loose Laces and Flickr. There is also a link on the side bar.
A beautiful young woman asked me to meet her this evening; sorry Nessa, but something has come up and I won't be able to make it. Another time, for sure.

That hurts! To be asked out by one so lovely and young; a sweet girl I've admired since I first met her more than thirty years ago, and then revel all week long in anticipation of a beautiful date; there is no justice in this world. Or is there? My karma sucks.
Had to drive out W. Walnut street a few minutes ago, and I noticed the ornamental dogwood buds along the way are swelling. Either they are anticipating spring, or they have allergies the same as my eyes. I hope they don't freeze like the ones did last year in March's mini ice age.
Speaking of last March, it was the last time I had a haircut. If I can hold off 'til this March, I shall have it cut! I haven't shaved since early October, so I suppose when the weather begins warming and I begin sweating, it too will come off. I'm not talking about a wimpy goatee or chin whiskers or a partial beard; mine is full blown hillbilly, snow white, and would look great with some tobacco juice stains around my mouth. Perhaps some Skoal® or Beechnut® browning would be perfect. Anyway—being conceited—I'll make a final photo of myself before shearing time, and display it in a prominent place. Someone besides me is bound to appreciate it...

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