Friday, March 28, 2014

Take me out to the ball game

Once more it is near time for America’s game to begin a new season. I don’t much care anymore about baseball but there was a time when I was as passionate as the next kid about the game and all the major league stars. It was 1955 and our school principal was also an avid fan, so much so that he allowed us to quit class and go to the auditorium and watch the game on a TV which he had placed near the front of the stage. The room wasn’t huge but I hope you can imagine a flickering black and white screen no bigger than a dinner tray and tiny speakers baring as loudly as possible. I hope you can also smell fresh popped popcorn; the principal borrowed a backup popcorn maker from the local movie theater and each of us received a small bag of the treat. The game was during the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, one of several “subway” series they had back in the day. I don’t remember who won the game or on which home field it was played on, but I know we true fans were in ecstasy. A lot of the kids were there just to skip classes for the afternoon. Many of us did not have television sets at home and would linger watching the game until after all the school buses ran and we ended up walking home, some of them for many miles. It was worth the trek as we discussed the game amongst ourselves  on the way. It didn’t pay to stay until the very end of the game, however. If we did, we were recruited to clean up all the spilled popcorn from the seats and floor of the auditorium. Did I mention girls? No girls attended the game viewing; not one because they were not welcome. They were all allowed to gather in the gymnasium and discuss whatever it is that grade school girls talk about and they did have popcorn if they wanted it. It was a man’s world in that era and I can only imagine what would happen if something like that was attempted these enlightened days. I suppose the refrain lyrics for this video song are still played and sung at every major league game during the season.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wintry blues

Abandoned but not forgotten

Snow this morning and more expected tonight. I am sick of winter.

Both the Lady Vols and the men’s basketball squads are doing ok so far. They both are in the round of sixteen. The men have a chance to advance farther but the women are not playing well.

Sammy and Mason were here Sunday. They both have colds and were a bit ill tempered but we got along good. Mason is saying a few words; he is only fourteen months old. His little legs are so fat that when he walks, he waddles like a bow-legged penguin.

The lost airliner was apparently beamed up by illegal space aliens. Fox news is likely working on a way to tie Obama to responsibility for the tragedy.

Nearly all of out daffodils are blooming for the first time since we moved here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

An Idle Mind

I am neither happy nor sad that hate monger and pastor Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church has died but I am glad he is no longer an American.

I’ve been watching (finally) Baseball by Ken Burns. I’ve watched some of his documentaries including The Civil War, Jazz, The War and others and I have learned much about America and its people. Our true history lies in the things we do and either succeed at or fail and not in the words of great men. If Burns never received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he surely is past due.

It is trying to be springtime but air temperatures are still chilly; it has not officially reached the 70°F (21.1°C) mark so far this year. “They” are saying we will have snow next week. Doesn’t surprise me because our deepest snows have usually been in March and April. Fortunately they melt fairly quickly.

The front door to springtime is a photographer’s best friend. ~Terri Guillemets

Friday, March 14, 2014

" ... as virginal as the first daffodil of spring"

March daffodils

The photo was made yesterday in evening sun. First time I have used the big Pentax in nearly a year. Felt good to hold it. Little hands have surely been at it as the power switch was turned on, the batteries were dead, and every dial and switch on it was changed. I’ll need a new hiding place for it. Here are the same daffodils from last February 15.

The U.S. Congress; that august body has been wandering in the wilderness for decades, worshiping Gods of Mammon, and always just beneath the radar of blame.

Pretty weather here in the hills but the air is cool. Seems like nature is once again making us wait until the last moment for glorious spring.

It doesn’t bother me that I am but the second most interesting man in the world. This guy claims to be the most, most interesting.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My view from the far left

I wonder if anyone has asked the N.S.A. if they know where the lost plane is? If they don’t know, Google probably does.

Seems like CNN News very much wants the missing plane to be the result of terrorism. I watched about thirty minutes of their coverage last evening and became a bit nauseous as the anchor kept leading his panel back to the hijacking theme when they strayed from the subject a bit.

Speaking of NSA (National Security Agency), I think it hellishly funny that the Senate of the U.S. thinks they are being spied on by the agency. Hearings into the abomination are under way in D.C. It’s about time the worm turned; Congress has always ok’d the spying by “intelligence” agencies on the lives of we everyday public as a security priority but when they may be targets themselves, they scream “foul” and needlessly spend tons of money to find out the “facts”. The facts are that each screamer is probably guilty of some nefarious deed which the public should know about but they have kept covered under their top secret security umbrella. Phooey!

Why do we need a Homeland Security and a Defense Department? Why not allow Homeland Security to take care of homeland security and rename Department of Defense back to its moniker of War Department which it carried until 1949? After all, it is best at making war, especially in and on small countries who have a lot of oil and few soldiers.

Let’s kiss and make up with Cuba.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014



Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love! ~Sitting Bull
The little spring peckerwood is back! He visited a couple of times last month but this morning he was in full and glorious happiness, drumming on the side of our house. Daffodils are in full bloom and the temperature is supposed to be 72F (22C) today. Time to think about serious porch occupying. Of course it is early spring and they are calling for snow flurries tomorrow night and temperatures well below freezing for a day or two. Such be early spring. Hope the temps moderate before the gigantic Ides of March celebration which never happens.

I hope Sandy and her family were able to withstand the sizable earthquake which occurred just off the California shore from where they live.

My Lady Vols won the conference championship in three straight come from behind victories. I hope they can get a number one seeding in the Big Dance; that way they won’t have to face too many teams better than they before the Final Four. They really aren’t as good as they are ranked to be. The men’s team is also playing well but there is doubt as to whether they can get into the NCAA tournament.

Imagine: This modern tech-heavy world has lost without a trace an entire jet airliner!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Almost spring

Still winter brown but some spring green is showing

Been winter-ish for a day or two but is supposed to be very spring-like next week. I am surely ready.

Lady Vols play LSU in the SEC tournament this evening. Vols aren’t as good as I thought they would be this year but even if they were great they could not come close to beating Mark’s Ucon Huskies.

I’ve been rereading some of my stories I wrote back in the 90′s and I still like them.Wish I still had the ability to type out the words like I did then. I tried dictation software but my voice has become so raspy that it has trouble understanding me and I have to do more editing than I would have with straight keyboard input. I don’t like talking to infernal machines nohow.

Dark of the moon is at the end of this month so be sure to plant your taters at that time. Eyes up.

I saw a good movie on Netflix last week. Stand Up Guys should be seen by anyone getting along in years. Christopher Walken has been my favorite bad guy ever since I saw him in the James Bond movie A View to a Kill.

Seems like Russia is going to annex Crimean Peninsula and maybe much more of Ukraine and the West is  vainly shaking their collective fists full of dollars and euros.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Chocolate as a fruit

Johnson City's best kept secret

I recall Seaver’s bakery ‘fried pies’ from when I was a small boy. On Fridays when Paul’s Rolling Store came around, Mom would buy either a half dozen donuts or a few of these pies. After Paul left to go to the next house, Mom and I would sit in the living room listening to the radio and eating our treat along with a grape or orange soda. The packaging in the photo is still basically the same as it was sixty years ago. Back then, the pies were fruit filled but chocolate and one or two other fillings were added to the product line. Not long after I was married, we rented a house just up the street from the bakery which is still in business today. It was a good place to live if you like baking scents, which I strongly loved. They were generally known as fried pies but they were actually baked. My favorites are cherry, pineapple, blueberry, and chocolate. Those moments alone with my grandmother, sharing fresh baked treats and our favorite soda flavors will be in my best memories as long as I have recollections. Photo made with HTC phone camera.

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