Saturday, October 31, 2009

I am Explored!

First things first: Happy Birthday, Colleen; wherever you are.
It is ironic, but the problem I was having with Flickr not allowing contacts to use my photos in galleries is fixed, and along with it I am now a member of the elite club of Flickrites whose photos have been blessed with being in Explore. Not only am I now a member of that august group of "interestingness" photographers, I have two photos posted this week and recognized as being interesting. All because someone hacked my account in 2006 and placed a pornographic photo in place of one of mine. Not only did the porno replace my photo, I could not delete it; I had to contact Flickr administration whom investigated my complaint and after several hours removed the offensive smut. Flickr kept my account as "safe", but placed a NIPSA rating on it also. Whatever NIPSA is, it prevented other people from downloading or doing anything with my photos, and excepted me from being on Explore. I was neglected for so long by the Explore people that I came to not giving a crap; I still do not.
I feel very depressed this weekend. I have become a disappointment to people I care about and whom care about me. At times like this (and there have been others), I feel like chucking the whole internet thing, acting my age, and going to dozing in front of the tv for hours at a time. We oldsters sometimes feel sorry for ourselves I suppose, but even more so for the people we have negatively affected.
The Smoking Gun's Mugshots of the Week!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Views on pews

What is it about church pews, hunger pains, and poots? If you've ever attended church more than a few times, or if you've sat through a long funeral service, I bet you have had some digestive discomfort. It seems like every time I attend a funeral service, sooner or later my stomach is going to suddenly become aware that it is feeding time, even if I ate prior to to leaving home. The growl emanating from my belly is never subtle, and I always know it is coming. As tightly as I can scrunch up my stomach muscles, and no matter how much I bend over to try to stifle some of the sound, it still roars through my guts, vibrates through my buttocks, and resonates all the way up and down the wooden pew, even if the seat has some of the skimpy foam padding. Suddenly two-hundred heads twist around and four-hundred eyeballs are boring into my reddening face, some with amusement, some with disbelief, and some with contempt. The hell of it is, the sound of an empty stomach and the roar of some good farts are nearly indistinguishable, so I immediately know that everyone is thinking that I've shit myself. No damn place to hide. Even worse are the real gas bombs; especially on a Sunday morning after having eaten at Billy Bob's Bait Shop and Barbecue Emporium the night before, and having washed down my nutritious supper with a few Buds; beer farts laced with barbecued pig and jalapeno peppers are notoriously explosive and aromatic. Just as the preacher winds down his oratory and begins offering a final prayer of the morning for the sick and shut-ins, the pig in my gut utters one squeal after another, and those internal messages of distress all wind up pushing against my sphincter muscle which is already tired from an entire night of entertaining my bed partner. Just as I get up to go to the bathroom, all hell breaks loose and up pops two-hundred heads before the amens are said, and into my face again bores the amusement or contempt of four-hundred eyeballs. All I can do is grab the seat of my pants before I really do crap my bloomers, mutter some excuse me's as I squirm past my fellow pew sitters, and flee to the pot as fast as possible while trying to keep and air of dignity.

Now you know why I don't go to church.
Yesterday's title quote is from the movie K-Pax.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Your produce alone has been worth the trip."

Walnut Mt.

Ever talk to a tree? I mean a real tree and not your hard-case mother-in-law. I don't recollect conversing with a tree, but it is very possible that I have done so. This I do know; at one period of my life trees did talk to each other ... and to me. The farmland where I was reared was speckled with clumps of trees, the woodlands being just a few giants clustered somewhere in a field on up to tracts of many acres of mixed hardwoods and conifers. I was an only child, so any trip into nearby woods was a singular adventure for a curious mind. Many times I lazed away hours of summer days with my back against a beech tree (the smooth bark was cool even through my shirt) and my butt nestled in a cushion of soft leaves and moss. When the wind was nearly quiet I might doze for a few minutes, but mostly the hours were spent listening to the whispers of the mighty trees as they gossiped amongst themselves. I do not know what profound or mundane things they spoke to one another as I didn't understand the fleeting wisps of arboreal language, but I do know they used the air moving through their leaves to pass along their thoughts; it was left to me to imagine what they were saying and to decipher the songs they sang. On the few occasions when they recognized my presence and condescended to speak to me I understood them completely, and every time I understood them, it scared me enough that I vacated my nest and ran for the fence and home. The friendly, warm forest of a sudden became a frightful place of deepening shadows filled with threatening unknowns, especially for a boy alone whom had not yet seen his tenth birthday. In these later times, I do not remember what the trees said to frighten me so, but it was enough to keep me seeking amusement in sunlit fields for several days. Sooner or later though, the woods again called for me to come, and I could no more stop myself from returning than I could lift my hand and still the wind. This call of the forest is still present in my soul, and when it rises to my heart, I have no choice but to respond by returning to places where trees grow freely and are left to their own devices. At times I hear again the whispers of old on the soothing air. The woods of my youth are now replaced by other giants; the many fine homes and green lawns of suburbia, but I doubt these things have the ability to speak to the children playing around them like the trees spoke to me, and I also doubt these new children would have an inkling of it if they did.
Yesterday's title quote is from the movie Alien Resurrection.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

“I don’t know, I mostly just hurt people.”

Road to Elk Mills

In the summer and fall of 1980, I spent an hour each week for twelve weeks undergoing psychological counseling and attitude modifications. I was supposed to be there for 15 weeks, but by the end of three months I had the staff and counselors properly trained, so I gave them a break the last three sessions.

It all began with a simple IQ test at the employment office, and wound up with me as a 36 year-old college freshman. After the IQ test, they asked me to go through a two-week battery of mental dexterity and physical proficiency tests for eight hours each day. On the first day I was placed among adults whom had Down's Syndrome, making paper poppies to be sold by disabled veterans. I probably learned as much about human spirit, kindness, and ingenuity in that one day than I had in all my previous years; it was the most humbling experience of my life. On the second day, the actual aptitude tests began, and it went from the ordinary placing round blocks in square holes to adding a super-long list of numbers using an old fashioned key-and-lever type adding machine that printed to paper tape. It took almost a half hour to add 'em all up and I didn't make a mistake, which impressed my advisers to no end. Believe me, there were so many digits to count that it was pure luck on my part. Next came a tub which contained a bunch of small water pipes of varying diameters and lengths along with reducers and other fittings. It was my job to screw them all together to form a large square with a crossing of pipes in the center. I had that days work knocked out in less than 45 minutes; I was an electrician and was used to working nearly everyday with conduit and fittings; piece of cake! All of these and the other jobs/tests were supposed to take from two to four hours each to complete and I ended up doing the entire two weeks work in well less than five days. They said it was a record for the books; all I wanted to do was get out of there each day and and go to the beer joint.

Why was I sent for psychological counseling? Somewhere along the line they figured out I really didn't give a shit about much of anything, so they were bound and determined to make an alpha male of me; I was to be a leader instead of a passive non-follower. They gave up after 10 weeks, but had me come back for two more sessions just to collect the state money. I did wind up in college where I wasted a few semesters learning to write stuff like this and doing a bit of photography; it was a pleasant experience for the most part. One day I was forced to make a choice between beer and education, so I adjourned to the bar to think it over. I do have a few regrets about not finishing college, but smoking dope, drinking beer, and hanging with my friends seemed important at the time. Now, most of my friends have moved on to the next world, I cannot afford to buy dope, and for some reason the beer just isn't as good as it was when shared with people I cared about.
Yesterday's title quote is from the movie Victor Victoria.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

“I’ll sleep with you for a meatball.”

Not much happening today ... except again it rains. I'm happy that we were able to have one pretty day for shooting the fall colors. I did not make a lot of decent photos Sunday, but most of what I did get are at least presentable. I am now back to my weekly routine and will drive Carolyn to Fall Branch and Boones Creek to clean the buildings later on. I am almost caught up on my email, and the new photography site is coming along well. I have more than 80 photos posted there, and about all of them have been included on this blog or placed on Flickr. Most of the member's photos there are of such high quality that a snap shooter like me feels a bit lost. I was away from the site for so long I am having problems catching up with the new stuff being added. Thanks to Maggie, I have at least been kept informed.

I am so sick of Flickr being so slow, erratic, and not working. They have a new feature where people can create themed "galleries" and they can select their friends photos for display. That is a good idea, I think. The big catch is that no one can use my photos in their galleries, even though all my settings are optimal for sharing. I can create galleries, but I cannot have my photos in the ones created by others. I think Flickr Central does not like me. If they are hinting that I should leave, well, my pro account dies in April, and as of now, I have no intention of renewing it. I only ask for my money's worth like other pro members are receiving.
Wednesday the new version of Ubuntu Linux will be released and I am antsy to play with all the new and changed features. I will try a 32 bit upgrade first, and if it does not install well, it will give me a good excuse to clean install a 64 bit version. I used it once before, but there were so very few 64 bit apps that is wasn't worthwhile. Now, Firefox and my GIMP photo editor are 64 bit, along with several more that I use. One thing I have found out; Linux runs 32 bit programs on its 64 bit releases much better than does Windows 7. If you do not purchase one of the two highest priced versions of Win7 64 bit, you may not be able to run legacy apps that worked well on your old XP, and even then it can be iffy.
Enough of my whining and pouting for one day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A journey through the hills

Watauga Lake at Shook Branch

Saturday was a complete washout for photography, so we invited Kim over to watch the Tennessee Volunteers get beat by the Alabama Crimson Tide on tv. It was much better than sitting in a motel room in a strange town; I know that for a fact from my days as a tramp electrician.

Kim came back to our house at eight o'clock yesterday morning, and we immediately headed for the hills. She wanted to visit Doe River Gorge, but it was a waste of time. I've never been there, but knew about it. Apparently one must do some trekking to get into it which left me out, and she would have been pressed for time if she had tried it. I will find out more on the place and maybe we can go back there if she gets to come back next June for the rhododendrons atop Roan Mt.

We left there and I took a few minutes so she could get a "I've been there" photo of Watauga lake and dam. We then drove over the crooked mountain road to to Dennis Cove. I think the drive across the mountain scared her a bit; she was perturbed at looking out the car window and then straight down the mountainside. We finally got to the Dennis Cove camping and picnic area, and of course it was closed. I've been going in there for nearly thirty years, and that is the first time the gate has been locked. I found another place to park, and she was able to walk a little way on the Appalachian Trail and get some shots of Laurel Branch. We then began our assent of Walnut Mt. and Kim again made sure her seatbelt was snug; she definitely ain't a mountain girl. Due to lack of time, I wasn't able to take her down the mountainside to Frog Level; it is mighty pretty there in autumn. We continued on to the Walnut Mountain Church of Christ and I think it tickled her pretty good. The light was good and the leaves were perfect; I can't wait to see her photos of the old place. She even went inside the building and made some shots; much as I did in '07. We proceeded from there to the Christmas tree farms atop the mountain, and I think she liked them a lot; she made many photos of the rows of future joy. We drove from there into the edge of North Carolina, through the town of Roan Mountain, Tenn. and back to my house. Kim left immediately to return toward home. She had never before spent that much time on mountain roads; something Carolyn and I do for several hours at a time.

We had some disappointments due to weather over the weekend, but all-in-all, it wasn't bad. We enjoyed having Kim with us, and I hope we can keep her at the house next time she comes in; motel bills are expensive. Here is a link to her Flickr and there is another in the side bar; be sure to give her work some views and she likes comments, too.
Please read this:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Walnut Mt. Church Of Christ 10/25/09

Burley tobacco

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tomato farm in the Nolichucky Valley

I met with Kim last evening, and we did a lot of driving the back roads, but the light was so bad and the winds so high I got only one or two decent photos. Kim probably did better because she had enough sense to use a tripod. She wanted a pic of the old bridge at Clark's Creek, but a tree had blown down across the road and caused us to waste more than a half hour. By the time we got to the covered bridge in Elizabethton, it was very dark and I did not try to shoot. Again, she used a tripod and probably did ok.

We were to go out again this morning, but there is heavy overcast and misting rain. Tomorrow is supposed to be great weather and we will try again. I hope the rain doesn't knock the color from the trees; the mountains are quite beautiful in places.
By the way: The "Insanity runs in my family. It parctically gallops." quote I used for a title on Wednesday is by Cary Grant from the movie Arsenic and Old Lace. Grant was the best at making short sentences sound so profound and funny.
The Smoking Gun's Mugshots of the Week!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Watauga Lake

Some of my favorite movies, including my very favorite, Casablanca:
  1. I rate Casablanca so high because Humphrey Bogart was at his acting best, Ingrid Bergman was beautiful, Peter Lorre was perfect, Paul Henreid was convincing, Sidney Greenstreet was always one of the best, and Claude Rains was the real star of the movie. Actually the main reason I like the movie is the wonderful dialogue. Casablanca is so far ahead of any other movie, I will just list it as the best and anything else can never be better than second. There is no special order for these also-rans.
  • Mars Attacks: Silly and funny
  • Killer Klowns From Outer Space: Oddball and different
  • Saving Private Ryan: Angst and human sacrifice at its best
  • Forrest Gump: Just plain good and wonderful music
  • Gladiator: Great hero, superb villain, pretty girl
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Johnny Depp does good
  • Young Frankenstein: Mel Brooks' best
  • The Flying Deuces: A good comedy by the greatest ever comedy duo
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Classic British humour
  • Operation Petticoat: Cary Grant at his droll best
There are many more I can include in this list, but this is a sample of what I consider cinema entertainment. I do like to laugh at the ridiculous, including myself.
Today I have a checkup with the RA doctor, I get my weekly shot, and later I hope to meet with a Flickr friend from out of town. Maybe the weather will not be as bad as the man says it should be. She is coming in to make some fall photos, and all I can do is hope for the best color and conditions. She is another exceptional photographer.

She visited Jonesborough last year and fell in love with the area. I did not get to meet her then, but I hope Carolyn and I can find some good stuff for her photographic eye.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rhododendron Gardens atop Roan Mt. North Carolina

All photos made on June 24, 2009

Looking southeast toward the Blue Ridge
Mts of NC

I like black and white

Huge rhodendron clump

Bumblebee and rhododendron
Photos made with Pentax K200D DSLR and 18-250mm Pentax zoom lens. No on-camera filters used.
Photos processed in Paintshop Pro and GIMP.
Photographer processed near Jonesborough, Tennessee in late 1943 and delivered to original owners in August 1944.

House husband

My keys must have fallen from my pants pocket last night; I managed to step on them when I got up this morning. Didn't hurt, but I set the Escape security alarm off from the little fob thingy. It got the neighbors attention, fer shur. For 15 years I've put up with their barking dogs, their mongrels running loose and crapping in my yard, their cats doing the same plus killing most of my squirrels and a lot of birds, their firecrackers, their drunk-inspred gun shots in the middle of the night, and even one setting her house on fire to collect insurance. Ah, the life of an urban redneck.

The lady whom set her house on fire was remarkable. One time she got mad at a neighbor and spray painted graffiti and obscenities on the side of her house; she ruined a lot of expensive cedar siding. She painted her own porch a terrible shade of yellow which clashed big time with the light blue siding and dark blue trim of the house. One night I was taking a forgotten key to Carolyn, and as I passed the lady's house, I noticed the living room lights were shining brightly through an uncurtained picture window. She was directly in front of the glass, twirling and dancing. She was a pretty decent looking faux blond woman, so I slowed for a good look. She was wearing lacy, black bikini style bed-wear which she sometimes sported even outside the house in daytime, but of a sudden, she slipped the top off up over her shoulders and then stepped out of her panties and resumed dancing; all she had on her was my eyes. She was definitely not a true blond. Being a morally upright man, I averted my eyes and hurried on to deliver the key to Carolyn. On my way home and much to my dismay, her house was dark. As for her self-inflicted house fire, it did little damage before it was smothered by the pouring rain. About two years later, she had a cocaine heart attack while at home and died; her husband had already divorced her and obtained custody of the kids.
Carolyn went back to work last evening and was pretty well normal which means she forgot one of her building keys and I had to get away from the pc and brave the cold, cruel, and dark world to take it to her. A house hubby's work is never done and many sacrifices must be made to keep the bread earner's nose to the grindstone.

This reminds me that I saw on tv a promo for a show called Househusbands of Hollywood. Is this a new low in programming or what?

Some of you may notice I deleted part of the above paragraph; it was all tongue-in-cheek, but I could see where it might offend some people. If I did offend, I truly regret it. I'll go watch Spongebob now.
I feel a bit sorry for the dude in this video, but at the same time I found it funny because I've been in pretty much the same shape. Some respect please!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops."

New roof

Puff balls

Autumn light

Carolyn had her surgery on September 4th and officially returned to work yesterday. She did better than I expected, especially after having visited the grocery store and then preparing a meal of her famous meatloaf and potato salad. She has fairly light-weight vacuums in most of her buildings, and she will not have to carry heavy trash, so she expects to get along well once all the kinks are worked out. She tires easily and her back hurts after awhile, but it is to be expected after riding a bed for two months. Tonight and tomorrow night will not be too bad she says, but the first real test will come Friday night when they have the most buildings to clean.
Related news: Carolyn baked a cake yesterday; something she used to do fairly regularly. It was supposed to be a bundt cake with lemon Jello pudding in the center. When she removed it from the oven, it looked like it had not raised very much, but it sure smelled good. She figured there was something wrong; that maybe the cake mix she used was old or something of that nature, but after trying to remove the cake from the pan wihtout success (it fell apart) she tossed it into the trash. She was telling Vicky about it later on, and Vicky asked her if she mixed the Jello pudding real good. That is when the light bulb in her head shone brilliantly; she had forgotten to mix it at all. She poured the dry mix straight from the box into the cake without adding a drop of liquid, much less stirring it into pudding. We ended up with a store-bought lemon meringue pie which she had in the freezer. She was in a very bad mood when I took her to work.
Do you know which movie spawned the title quote?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"I ain't never done this before. Marriage is a new kind of racket for me."

Roan Mountain, North Carolina

At times, failure is the basis for a greater hope
At other times, it is the cause of greater despair

Flickr is offline ... again. That particular photo sharing service has become slower and slower and very unreliable over the nearly four years I've been a member. It's ok; there is a new photo site in the final stages of being built that does what Flickr claims to do and a whole lot more. I will let you know when it is online.
Carolyn cleaned one of her smaller buildings by herself Sunday, and this evening we will sally forth and try to do two more of them. I hope she has enough sense to ease back into the mainstream instead of her usual headlong approach.
I stopped by Radio Shack this morning; it is located beside Kroger grocery store. The parking lot was packed with cars, mostly because Tuesday is geezer day at Kroger and we old farts get a five percent discount on all our purchases. I like Kroger store; they are generally clean and well kept inside and outside and they are a union shop. Even with the Tuesday discount, they are no cheaper than Food City is every day, and not as cheap as Wal-Mart. I like Food City, but do not trust the quality of Wal-Mart groceries ... or anything else they sell. K-Mart has announced they will stop selling groceries at the local Super K-Mart, and rebrand it as a Big K store.
I am still on limited internet access, and most of what I do will be via this blog.

From Saturday's ride-about

Top photo: Jim Elliot Rd
2nd photo: Oak leaves turning brown instead of normal red/bronze
3rd photo: Elizabethton viewed from Cripple Creek Loop
4th photo: Monte Vista cemetery
5th photo: Oak leaves turning yellow instead of normal red/bronze
6th photo: Monte Vista cemetery

Monday, October 19, 2009

You played it for her, you can play it for me!

I suppose my whining and bitching have paid off; heavy frost this morning and a lovely, sunny day with mild temps. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
It is 62 days until the most important date of the year; winter solstice. On December 21, the days will begin shedding some darkness and replacing it with light, but the coldest days will not be until January and February. Still, I will be looking for robins returning from the Gulf coast, and for snow drops to poke their white blossoms from the ground. As I become older, spring becomes more meaningful; it is a time when I can forgive Mother Nature for making the winter almost unbearable. Even with that inconvenience, she has never been mean to me, and as much pouting as I do over the bad weather, she also forgives me and rewards my soul with one more springtime. When eventually I return to her bosom, she will know that her efforts were very much appreciated, and all the things she accomplished throughout my lifetime were for the good of the planet and for me. Bless you, Mom.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Have you ever Skipped to My Lou ... My Darling?

I've been blogging long enough to make a few enemies; and the few I know about are all dissed at my because of something I said about religion. Even though I have written nothing that could be considered personally disparaging toward these folk, one or two of them keep sniping at me in their own blogs, and they very seldom visit Loose Laces any more. I dote on controversy.
For the first time, I am giving very serious thought to putting some of my short stories and a poem or two together and fishing for a publisher. I may even consider self publishing, but vanity decrees that if I do so, I will want an ISBN number for the tome. With the book registered internationally, it will be available for retailers like Amazon and others to sell. Selling my babies will be much like if I sold my family, but it is probably better to do so than keep them locked up on my writing blog. Such a wonderful treat awaiting the literary world. To celebrate my "almost decision", I will place another of my "poems" for your derision. Some of you may remember that it was previously on Loose Laces.

At Midnight
A song of angst in two part harmony

At midnight
Musky incense in the air
And reefer too
Wine bottles on the floor
Naked bodies by the doors
On the sofa and everywhere

We had a party just you and I
So we thought
But others came by
To share our hour
Of lust and desire
To reap from our bodies
Our hottest fire

In a while you were bedded
With some guy
I lay the parlor with your friend
This hasn't happened
With us ever before
Have we changed

How shall we see each other
Will we avert our eyes
In the morning
You shall be you
I shall be me
Who are we

Will you compare him
To me in our bed
Will I think of her
When I'm your lover
Have we ever
Known each other
Do we know us now

At midnight
Musky incense ascends
Naked bodies on the floors
The wondering begins

©2008 by Ken Anderson. All rights reserved.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nothing really

I caught a bit of commentary concerning the balloon, the boy, and the non-event. I still think it did not deserve an hour long news program dedicated to it, whether it was done for publicity or was in fact a localized happening. Looks like the media blew it out of proportion just to have story. There is real news to be covered by the huge networks, but if they do not deem it entertaining, it is treated as an inconvenience. I can imagine what Nancy Grace did with the "story".
Obama seems pleased that the healthcare legislation is moving forward. Like all presidents, getting something passed even if it is bad is good.
I am seriously considering going out in this vicious weather and trying to make a few photos. There probably will not be any good leaf color this year, so now is as good a time as any. I hope I don't stress my fragile little body.
Some leaves are looking more promising than I thought they would. We drove around in Carter County for an hour or two and the hillsides are looking pretty decent, but the river valley is not doing much. Next weekend may be the best, and one of my Flickr friends is planning to come up from Nashville for some shooting. Carolyn and I hope to be able to show her some pretty leaves.
The Smoking Gun's
Mugshots of the Week!

Friday, October 16, 2009

"We simply must accept the fact that Captain Kirk is no longer alive"

What the hell is it with this humongous news "story" about a kid, a ballon ride that wasn't, and absolutely nothing at all. The Great One--Anderson Cooper--spent the best part of an hour detailing the details of the awesome event. Cripes, this would not have made a real news program on a slow day, much less be worthy of interviewing hot air balloon experts, and experts in every field of human stupidity. If Anderson Cooper can win awards for this type of journalistic nincompoopness, it means real journalism has died and gone to its just reward. "This is CNN, the most trusted name in news"; James Earl Jones must be in dire need of work, or maybe he has never tuned in and watched. That particular network lost all its credibility when Ted Turner sold out to Time-Warner, AOL, and the world of glitter. At least Fox News does have stories to broadcast ... even if they have to make them up. Hello Shepard Smith; goodbye Anderson Cooper.
A person whom used to work around old people once told me that we smell bad. She said no matter how much you wash us, the scent of age is always reeking. Would someone please smell me and then give me a a good bath and sniff me again to see if it is true? If it is, I will forego my quarterly trips to the creek and stop wasting my time taking monthly showers. I've heard that when you start smelling yourself, everyone else has been smelling you for a week. I am decaying and didn't know it.
While I've got a good bitch going, I may as well give the weather some words. Rain, mild to chilly, no sunshine, and they say we will possibly have snow showers tomorrow night. Is it No-freaking-vember? It hasn't even done us the courtesy of frosting yet. You folk in Florida better watch out; I may head that way with my tail between my legs. One more smelly and cantankerous geezer should be tolerable for y'all.
My definition of wisdom: Lack of wisdom is knowing better than to do something but doing it anyway. True wisdom is knowing better than to do something and not doing it. My wisdom is knowing better than to do something then doing as much as I think I can stand. If I cannot have some adventure, I do not need to be calling myself a man.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Alice ...

Happy Birthday, Dear Alice

Another night while awaiting sleep to return, I got to thinking about which was the most influential rock band of the last quarter of the 20th century. I know; I need to get a life. Never the less, one face kept registering on my mind's eye even as I tried to dismiss it: Joey Ramone. I believe the Ramones were great influences on not only the Punk genre which they helped create, but also on the 80's hair bands, the so-called new-wave rock, the metal movement of the 80's and 90's, alternative rock, and definitely on the grunge bands that jumped out of the Seattle nightclub scene. I am not saying I particularly liked the group's music (I do like some of their stuff), but that they surely deserve their place in the rock hall of fame mainly due to their hard work and influence on rock-&-roll overall. In my opinion, not much good has come out of the big-time music world since the mid-seventies, and disco really, really sucked. I say that as I think of my pastel-pink leisure suit, massive-collared yellow shirt, Joe Namath endorsed cowboy boots, and a room full of flashing multi-colored lights I awed my friends with at frequent parties. I never did have a coke spoon necklace, although I did sport a small neck chain with a jade inlaid marijuana leaf.

I must buy sleeping pills.
Here is an off-the-beaten-path movie that some of you may enjoy, titled Shirley Valentine. It is adapted from a one-character play and it begins in Liverpool, England and ends in Mykonos, Greece. It does have a short scene of breast nudity, so if you find that bothersome you may want to miss this flick. Be sure to read the Wikipedia entry for a plot synopsis. Pauline Collins as Shirley and Tom Conti as Costas are outstanding in my opinion. I am not too hard to please when it comes to movies, and I have this one in my top 10 list. Of course I have Sin City and Killer Klowns from Outer Space on the same list; I am weird that way.
Carolyn went to the grocery store yesterday; I will gladly trade some boxes of Dots candy for some packs of candy corn.
Happy Birthday, Alice. You are a super person and a good friend; you will always remain beautiful.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mustard seeds

Black walnuts

A word about yesterday's post: it is in no way autobiographical.
Raining again! The ground is saturated and has been so for several weeks. NWS is predicting a warmer than average winter, probably much like we have had for the past 11 years. Suits me, although I could possibly stand to see one big snow, say six or more inches; February 1998 was the time of the last such. Up until about 1990, it was common to have several deep snows each winter. Of course with the big snows come tremendous problems such as power being out and not having the WWW at hand. Ghastly thought, actually.
My OLDEST friend--and she is a dear friend from old--will be celebrating her 65th BIRTHDAY tomorrow. Unlike myself, she does not show all those 780 MONTHS of living; she could easily pass for a lass of 40 years. Nope, 23,741 DAYS on this earth do not show with her except for a stray gray hair or two. Seems like just yesterday she was kidding me about turning 55 years old; my, how quickly a decade has flown by. She said we were in our "Golden Years" (a hateful phrase dreamed up by a Fifth Avenue ad agency). I have my own title for life after 60, but it isn't fit to be consumed by the delicate sensibilities of my dear readers. Always another tomorrow, Alice; always.
My email to Senator Snow has paid off; the President should present to me the Medal of Freedom for being the very person to bring the moderate Republican aboard the healthcare reform train. Sometimes I am in awe of my humble self.
The insurance companies are putting on a huge ruse in their ads against the healthcare bill. Actually, they are dancing with joy because nearly every American will be forced to buy an insurance policy from them, and there is no competing public option to cause them to lower prices and no real way to see that they fairly compete among themselves. Insurance company lawyers probably wrote the amended bill that jerk Senator Max Baucus sold out on. Ah yes! The politicians and CEO's will party hardy in balmy old Rio this winter and for many winters to come. Phooey!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Journey Through the Heartland

I had much trouble sleeping last night; it is a curse of growing old. The dark time wasn't wasted as the more abstract part of my brain began to think random but elastically connected thoughts; those times are always my most creative in terms of what I should write about. Last night I themed a poem, but not being a poet, I cannot turn my thoughts into reality. Today I remembered most of what I saw in my mind, and I've written it down as best I can. I don't know if if I understand it, but maybe you can figure it out for yourself. Maybe it is incomprehensible. This is a first draft (and possibly the only draft), so please forgive my rambling ways. I will leave it here for a day or so while trying to figure out its destiny.

This was moved to my writing blog if you are interested.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Like a thief in the night ...

I snuck in some research (web surfing) early this morning before my neighbor was up and I was able to use his wi-fi. He probably cannot detect whom is "borrowing" his bandwidth, but I try not to use it when he may be doing so as it will slow down his own downloads, etc. I am such a good-hearted thief.
A new beta release of Google's Chrome operating system is available for download if you are interested. The OS comes in a tarball (Linux .zip alternative) which can be installed via virtual machine, and an iso image file that can be burned to a cd and then installed on a spare hard disk. My recommendation would be to download and install it on a virtual machine like VirtualBox. Virtual machines run inside most operating systems including Windows and allow you to try different os'es at your pleasure. They work well; very well.

As of now, Chrome OS seems to be another run of the mill Linux distribution, and do not forget that it is beta, which means it will probably have bugs.
Now we know!
Perilous Pakistan: To invade or not to invade?
Very little of note going on at my abode. Carolyn and I went driving yesterday, looking for photo ops. We found very little that could be shot from within the car, or no more than a few feet away from it. We stopped for a few minutes in Jonesborough, Limestone, and made a pass-thru of Chucky. While at Limestone, we again drove to the Davy Crockett State Park and it was virtually empty of people.
Michael Jackson has a new song online; is he really the zombie he portrayed in Thriller?

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