Tricycles....

…. The birthday party was a hit… there were four generations of various relatives in attendance & quite a few family friends… we had a wondrous time….of course, I did get a voicemail from the party animals out at Richard’s crib tonight calling me names like Lame-O, Loser, and No-Show Jones…. Hey, boys?... the 1980s called… they want their taglines back……. sheesh…..

…. I love watching children play….. they absolutely amaze me with their energy and sheer happiness…. It is one of the purest and uplifting scenes that can be witnessed….. and I’m not talking about watching a kid sit in front of a TV playing a video game… I’m talking about running, jumping, playing basketball, beating the crap out of each other, etc….. REAL play…. rumbling balls of action and movement….. I just can’t help but love it….hell, I want to BE one of them…. Screw the taped ankle, bad back, and sore shoulder….. I want to wrestle, jump, and scream like a little banshee too!...

…. which is probably why I enjoy going to blogmeets so much, actually…. But I’m getting sidetracked here, so we’ll cut that train of thought with a nice “nevermind”…

…. See, my cousin “Big Daddy C” has four boys….. and they range in age from 11 to 4… and each one of them – while miniature images of him – are unique in their own way….. and yes, I know that idea really makes no sense, but that doesn’t stop it from being true…..

… anyway, at one point in the evening after dinner had been served, Big Daddy C and I walked up to the mailbox to discuss adult things away from the thronging masses…. We stood there for a while peppering imaginative expletives throughout our conversation and watching his youngest huff and puff as he worked his tricycle up to the top of the driveway where we were…..

… the kid is four years old….

… his tricycle was one of those that had the pedals welded to the front wheel…. remember those?..... every time the wheel turns the pedals move too….. yeah….

… so the little fellow steadies himself on his tricycle right beside us, and turns to face the herd of milling people down in the garage about 70 feet away…. he tightens his grip, looks up at me and Big Daddy, licks his lips, and cocks his little legs up against the pedals….

Big Daddy C: …. “Be careful, boy….. that driveway is steep..”

Boy on Tricycle: …“EEP!”

Me: … “Good God, he isn’t, really, is he?..... no way…. he’ll be killed…”

Big Daddy C: …. “yep…. He is the youngest….uh oh, he’s pedaling…”

Narrator: … now, I must interject a fact or two here for clarification’s sake…. See, the house is in a bit of a dip….. this resulted in the mailbox being nearly level in height with the guttering of the house…. the driveway itself was composed of smoothly poured concrete….. in fact, and for all intents and purposes, the driveway from where the little boy launched himself was practically a “stunt ramp”… but only reversed…

Me: …. “… Holy Shit, man…. You know that they are going to blame us when he wipes out, right?”..

Big Daddy C: … “yep… but the boy has got to learn…”….

…. I couldn’t believe my eyes, people…. five strokes into his descent and gravity took over….. his little legs just couldn’t keep up with the Great Forces of Nature… he’s flying down that driveway with his tiny hands on the handlebars and both legs flayed out to keep them away from the bone-crunching power of the out-of-control pedals…..

… I just knew that he was toast…..

…. But, like a seasoned daredevil, he held on and lived to ride another day…. coasting into a frightening “bump” against the easternmost guttering just right of the garage’s opening….

… now, you must understand…. While Big Daddy C and I were calmly watching from up near the mailbox, everyone else (everyone was in the garage) was completely freaking out as young skippy sped towards them…. No doubt fearing for his life AND their own…. (.. it must be quite frightening to be in the path of a Toddler On The Edge..)

…. There was pandemonium 70 feet away….. adult cries of “Save HIM!” alternated with elderly cries of “Run For Your Lives!”…. meanwhile, Big Daddy C and I just watched it all unfold…. Hey, in my defense, I was just taking cues from him… I mean, he IS “The Daddy”….. so I figured he knew what he was doing….. (.. although, I must admit that as the little tike neared the guttering, my hand had already searched my pocket for my cell-phone in case a 911 call had been needed…)

…. And in the end, all went as was expected…. Nobody died….no one was hurt….. and five minutes later the little guy looked up at us from the garage and started pushing his tricycle again….

Me:… “uh oh…. Hey, he survived the first try…. Here he comes again…”

Big Daddy C: …. “…. Nope…. Just watch..”

…. And Big Daddy was right….. the child stopped halfway up the drive, mounted his bike, and turned to show us both a huge, toothy smile…..

Big Daddy C: ….”see?.... he learned HIS little lesson….. look, I guarantee to you that his ride scared HIM as much as it scared US… but me telling him ‘NO’ wouldn’t have done any good…… and besides, he had already launched before we knew what was happening and there was nothing we could do to stop him….. but he has to learn some lessons for himself….. and today, well, he’ll not be trying that shit again….”

Me: …. “yeah, well, that may be…. But if he’d crashed, Missy would have kicked BOTH of our asses…”

Big Daddy C: …. “true…. but he didn’t crash….. he found his limitations…. And here is the kicker, Eric….. no one can tell you about your limitations….. YOU have to find them…. And the only way that you can do that is by doing stupid shit like my 4-year old just did…” ….

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Fluids....

…. my goodness…. well, enough of sitting around on the patio eating bacon sandwiches…. The Missus and I have been invited up to a 30th birthday party for my little cousin’s husband…. It should be quite a party…. And there I shall gleefully eat free hamburgers, baked beans, and homemade dill pickles….

… so I’m off to wash the pollen off of the buggy and take her top down for the journey…. Sylvia is lovin’ this warm weather, boys and girls….. and trust me, she is quite fetching when she takes her top off…….

… have a nice Saturday, y’all….. be careful, have fun, and remember to drink plenty of fluids… I care about y’all’s wellbeing…..

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Cocktails....

….. there is something about the poet Robert Service that just draws me in……I read and re-read him at least once a week whether I need it or not – yes, yes, he is just that gratifying to the soul….

… and on occasion, I've laid my collection of Service’s works aside and simply recited one as I went about my daily chores… hey, it keeps the noggin nice and loose and ready for action…..

…. This morning started off honestly enough but ended with one helluva weird set of coincidences….

…. I arose at an early hour and washed, dressed, and commenced drinking coffee on the patio… you know, as you do…… the tee-shirt which I chose to wear was my AMGA tee... a fine garment, as far as tees go, it was gifted to me by my good friend Matthew who lives up in Alaska and shoots machine guns all the time….. anyway, my tranquil morning of communing with nature and hot java was interrupted by a phone-call from Mr. Dax Montana….

… he and I chatted pleasantly for a while… and then he mentioned that RSM had taken him on an interesting tour recently…… things got a bit weird after he described some of the things that he noticed during the tour, but we still ended our phonecon on an upbeat and brotherly note….

… at this point in my day, and after I had hung up, I simply went about my business of pulling weeds, whacking wasps, and just generally enjoying the hell out of being a live human on the face of a pollen-encrusted planet….

… and then, straight out of the blue, I get an email from my ole buddy Matthew up in Alaska talking about shooting machine guns and stuff…. we chat back and forth for a while and then he sends me a link to this pub/hotel in Dawnson City, Yukon Territory where you can buy a drink with a frostbitten human toe bobbing in it……

… yeah, no shit…. That’s what I thought too…..

…. Wheels within wheels, rubberneckers…. You just never know what is going to happen around here next…. One thing is for sure, though…. I simply HAVE to get myself up to Dawson City before I die…. Both to pay homage to Robert Service… and to sample myself one of those drinks…. They say that they even give you a certificate after you’ve sipped one correctly…… now, honestly… who could refuse an offer like that?.... perhaps I could even stand on the porch of that hotel, with drink in hand, and recite "The Ballad of The Iceworm Cocktail”….

… I’ll bet that stranger things have been done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for blogfodder…..

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Fighting....

….. the lawn pixie arrived around lunchtime today and did an excellent job on my lawn while I was away visiting the dentist…. Indeed, I arrived back with a bag of Wendy’s cheese burgers to find my small patch of grass literally throbbing with springtime happiness at having had so much loving attention paid to it…..

… the peach tree that I planted last week is still green and leafy as well, which is nice…..

… in other news, I spent the majority of the hours from 3 to 6 battling four different subspecies of stinging wasps that had taken up residence under my new ChoiceDek deck… evidently they find the crunchy, woody (and somewhat plasticky) manmade boards to be the Birdseye Maple of the nesting-insect world… and it was as they chewed that they met their makers…..

…. after my fifteenth chemically-assisted kill, I began channeling Jeremiah Johnson’s adventurous spirit (as played by Robert Redford) when I was charged at various intervals by individual wasps seeking to sting me…

… ole Del Gue’s words were fresh in my mind as I bashed each one into the afterlife…. “you’re lucky they were Crow wasps…. Had they been Apache hornets, they’d have sent twenty at once….” …. Indeed, it was rough going there for a while……

… and then I regressed back to early childhood (because of all the trauma and violence), and The Missus made me a grilled cheese sandwich and opened a tin of Beanie Weenie’s for my dinner…. sure, we could have had steak and a salad, but I was in need of my comfort food......

… I feel quite nice right now since everything has settled down..…. and the smell of freshly cut grass is remarkably soothing….. it covers that nasty Ortho Wasp Exploder smell incredibly fast….. after only a few minutes, actually…..

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Twisted....

…. A while back, ole Oom Keesie posted a few interesting pictures of “metal people” that he’d found out on the net…. whimsical things, they were still quite good… so in his comments I mentioned that I once made myself a big copper lizard during a fit of insufferable boredom that I was experiencing a few years back….. you know, as you do….

… well, as the internet is one crazy-assed place, Mr. Keesie asked (of course) to be blessed with a photo of my amazing lizard….. and honestly, who am I to deny that poor African a chance to gaze lovingly at my big copper lizard?.... hell, as far as I know, it is a one-of-a-kind…. an original piece of artistic sculpture’in that I created with my own two little hands, a chisel, a hammer, a drill, a pocket knife, an anvil, and a pair of pliers…….

… anyway, my lizard is composed of seven pieces of copper….. either wound wire, single-strand wire, or cut piping that had been flattened and shaped……

….. one piece of heavy-gauge wire that I twisted and bent to create the main skeleton/structure… two more pieces of single-strand wire which wound across the head (creating the tongue) and down the neck and front legs to be bent into the front two “feet”…… and two more pieces twisting around the belly…. and down the back legs to create the back “feet”….. the “head” is an old piece of copper piping that I clipped with a chisel and then beat-to-shape on an anvil…. And the final piece of copper is some fine wire that I used to “sew” the head-plate onto the circular loop of the “skeleton”….

… it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself…. especially when you consider that the whole design was thought up by me and my Father late one evening while I was drinking gin and he was zoned out on Duragesic patches…..

….. and the added bonus is that the whole thing is completely bendable… you can twist that badboy into just about any pose you would ever desire for a big, tarnished copper lizard to be in….. but right now?.... he’s hanging on the wall near the pool table with his scrawny neck craned around as if he’s watching the game….. check it out, here he is…..

.... my lizard.....

… sure, sure, the lighting isn’t all that great…. and the angles are a bit funky…. But that’s him….. my one and only “sculpture”….. a copper dinosaur-lizardy type thing….. and in my defense, hey, I made this little guy before I ever started a blog…. I mean, it’s not like I wanted anyone to ever actually SEE my work…

... oh, and the music in the background?.... Paul Lamb & The Kingsnakes covering "Madison Blues".... just in case y'all were wondering.......

.... mercy, folks... there must be something in the water... Brother Elisson is talking about reptiles too.....

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Soothing....

… well, boys and girls, I’m off to the beautiful hamlet of Cleveland in search of hotdogs for lunch…..

…. there is a deli there where a friendly man with a huge, graying mustache whips up some dogs that are out of this world…..

…and nothing soothes the soul like a fresh, plump wiener and a soft, warm bun.….. trust me....

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Posting....

... everyone's favorite Big Stupid Tommy is telling lies again about why he hasn't posted for a week.....

... I tell you, that boy has taken telling porkies to a whole new level..... go forth and be amazed, gentle reader......

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Details.....

…. last night was a long, long time coming….. but I am glad that it is done….

…. my little brother came over after dinner and drank a few beers on the deck while I told him stories…. giving him the small details of a time that he had missed out on….

… he even reminded me that today – my Anniversary – was the last time that he had seen our Father alive…. We’d all met up at a local church in Englewood and chatted for a short while six years ago…. and I had to break away from the meeting so that I could meet my Cousin Brad for dinner…. It was his idea to get me out of the house and celebrate my 8th Anniversary by taking me up to Calhoun’s at The Marina for the evening….. since The Missus was still working on getting her immigration paperwork in order and was still overseas, he figured that I needed the company… he was right……

…. so I told Joshua of the burial…. and how we dug the grave…. what the dirt was like…… who was there and who helped and who simply watched….. how Uncle Tony and Cousin Butch drove over to the local Wal-Mart and bought a wheelbarrow to help with moving the soil…. what the conversations were about…. who was the best digger…. small, insignificant details… but details, still….. it was a day that he should have been a part of, but couldn’t be…… so I did my best to tell him exactly what it was like……

…. we sat out on the deck until nearly midnight yesterday…. drinking and talking….. crying and cussing… and laughing....

…. I’d been wondering when we’d finally get a few drinks poured into us and go over the details…. and last night in the dark on the deck, we finally did it…..

…. It was a long, long time coming, and I am glad that we’ve now started…..

.... oh, and yes.... just in case you rubberneckers were in any doubt, my pot roast absolutely rocked......

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Monkeys....

…. growing up in the rural East Tennessee – and surrounded by 15 to 20 male cousins all roughly my age – I often found myself a lion’s share of mischief….. roaming the hot countryside with .22 rifle in hand pretending to be Davy Crockett…. swinging from the high rafters of the tobacco barn ala Tarzan…. If you can think if up, then my cousins and I probably attempted it…

… having said that, however, we were never afforded an opportunity like the golden one El Capitan wrote about a few days ago…..

….. 14 year old boys…. mercy…. all that I can say is? … our poor, poor Mothers and Fathers…. and the really funny thing is that I know of quite a few bloggers who have children at (or swiftly approaching) that age…. You guys and gals know who you are…. and y’all are in for quite a ride…..

.. trust me….

… anyway, as I made my very first pot roast a few weeks back and utterly kicked its ass, I shall be attempting climb that culinary pinnacle once again this afternoon…… word….. and I am hugely optimistic that it will be out-of-this-world on the tastiness scale…. yes, yes, gentle rubberneckers, I am just that fucking good…….

… so enjoy your Sunday, people…. it is absolutely glorious here…. I’m off to hold down the patio furniture and listen to the birds argue over nesting sites……

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Birth....

.... here's a shot from yesterday.... sadly, it's how posts get born around these parts......

posts_small.jpg

.... I need more coffee.....

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Mowing....

… after six glorious years of happily forking over cash to the local, hard-up sixteeners for mowing my lawn and trimming with a weedwhacker, the well has finally run dry…..they’ve all finally gotten to college age and decided that they no longer wish to drench their Abercrombie & Fitch jeans in sweat for a mere 60 bucks…..

.. indeed, folks, times are getting hard around the compound here……

…. So, as you do, I trekked over to the local Lowes yesterday to shop for a lawn mower…… good God, almighty!....

… it seems that “lawn mowers” have gone out of fashion since I last had need for one…. And they have been replaced by something known as a “garden tractor”…. 2 grand, people….. throw in a 4-cycle weedwhacker, a gas can, a sweat rag, and sundry consumables, and you have the occasion to throw quite a curve ball into the old savings account……

.. yes, indeedy, I now own one big, honkin’, orange Husqvarna “garden tractor”…. and a Homelite strimmer….. now I just need to find me someone to drive it around and around my yard while I watch……

….. truthfully, though?.... why a lawn mower needs a headlight, bumper, cup holder, cigarette lighter, and cell phone charger, well, I just don’t know…….

…. I did skip the model that had air conditioning and a six-CD changer though….. that just seemed like overkill…

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Fast...

... what a world, people..... I post videos of lowing herds and The Bitterman throws up a clip of him chasing some curves....

... mercy, I think that I need a more exciting hobby....

.. in other news, I found this over at Amazingly Enough..... my day is just getting better and better..... whoo hoo!....

... I'm off to town to lunch with my Mother and Brother at a new little Italian place that just opened..... I'm thinking veal....

UPDATE: ... according to RSM and this story, perhaps my video was more exciting than I knew!?.... I tell you what, people, I am a lot luckier than I originally thought!...

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Paranoid....

… not a lot of people know it, but your average cow is a very curious beast…. And if you add a whole bunch of cows together in one field (… kinda like a herd, I guess.. ) well, their normal curiosity gets spiked by a feeling of “herd bravery”… like I said, not a lot of people know this… and that is precisely why I feel compelled to share proof of this with y’all….

... the other day as I was tooling around the countryside trying to keep myself out of mischief, I spied a field so beautiful that it would have forced Robert Frost himself to immediately break out pen and paper and start writing a poem about it…. so, I did what anyone armed with a ham sandwich and a carton of chocolate milk would do, and pulled over to have lunch and soak in the beautiful scenery…..

… I sat there for five minutes or so until I was noticed by a mid-sized heifer off in the distance….. she ceased her sipping from the watering hole and headed my way…. mild-mannered as I am, I paid her no mind and continued to enjoy my healthy lunch surrounded by The Almighty’s Bounty….

…. A few mouthfuls of ham sandwich later, and I looked over to see her and about twenty of her cow-buddies seriously checking me out as only a herd of stupefied cows can…. Here, check this shit out…..

… talk about giving a fellow a complex, good God!..... hey, it’s hard to eat a sandwich when you’re being gazed at so serenely by a gathering bovine peanut-gallery, let me tell ya…..and eventually they got to me, and I just couldn’t stand their rude curiosity any longer…..so I sped off down the road to find a new place to finish my lunch…..

…. In retrospect, I suppose that I could have attempted to scare them off or something…. But really, what kind of whacko tries to panic a herd of curious cud-chewers?.... I mean, if I were in their shoes and saw a really interesting looking possum eating a big bowl of persimmons or something, what would I do?... probably gather up a few friends that were hanging around and creep up to the aforementioned possum to check him out… no harm, no foul, right?.... and if he took objection and tried to chase me off, that would just be plain mean…. after all, I was just hanging out with some buddies and watching him do his thing (eating persimmons)….

… .. on the other hand, I suppose that I should have eaten the sandwich in the shop in the first place….. damn cows…..

Update: ... maybe they were just Billy Joel fans.....

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Fun...

…. To quote the illustrious Mr. John Prine:

A bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down and won…and it was 12 O’clock before I realized I was having no fun…..

… howdy, folks…. It is 12:37 here….. how are YOU guys doing?....

…. me?... well, I'm just dandy-O.... but I suppose that I shouldn’t have tried to eat my breakfast while watching Fred disembowel that mouse in the garage this morning…. it was really quite horrible….. watching a cute, furry woodland creature get methodically chewed into oblivion wasn’t exactly the start that I had hoped for on this springtime Monday, but there you go…. you just gotta take them as they come… besides, the mouse probably deserved it if the Glorious Unknown were ever to finally be revealed….

… I suppose that I should just go all “Walden Pond” on it all, but that somehow doesn’t seem appropriate… and I hear that there is a Vincent Price marathon on this afternoon and I suspect that’ll get me right back into the Spirit of Things….

… you know, I think I’ll grill up a cheeseburger tonight…. perhaps Fred is onto something with his whole recent red meat kick….. the salmon that I pan-seared last night really just didn’t do it for me….

... and Nature, people.... she does sometimes give us clues.....

.... my little Bro will be here around 2:30 and we'll be off to the gym to pump some iron for an hour or two... after that, well, I've got a newly-blooming peach tree to plant.... and after that?.... cocktails on the patio.... Lawd, hep us...

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Slantedly....

bacon – crisped to a darkened brown…. Cheddar cheese from Ireland – aged 18 months and sliced thick….. slices of fresh, white bread – toasted until hot-to-the-touch….. mayonnaise – creamy and tart, generously smeared roughly with the back of a spoon…. crunchy onions – cut and de-ringed….. sunlight – streaming slantedly onto the breakfast table….

…. perfection in a morning kitchen, oh my…. I am One... and at peace with my bacon sandwich….

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Hammock....

…. Well, Leesa’s Blog Battle is almost over…. cheers and a big thank you to all who took the time to vote…. I appreciate y’all’s time and effort…. Oh, and I promise not to get myself nominated for anything else that requires blogger participation….

… still, though, you guys rock…. I’m running a tight second place and it’s been a lot of fun… I’ve enjoyed reading a few new blogs that I had not seen before – and that is always a good thing….

…. Time is ticking by slowly this Sunday for some reason, and I just can’t put my finger on it…. Tennessee is scheduled to party-down with Virginia at noon on the tube, and I have two excellent salmon cutlets marinating in a bourbon & pecan mixture that is so good that it makes you want to smack your Momma for never having made it for you as a child…..

… but other than that, ‘tis just business as usual around my humble, rural acre… the grass is greeing, the dogwoods are budding, but it is still a bit too breezy to have some quality hammock time….

…. the day is coming though, and it is just around the corner….

… after all, soon we’ll all be bitching about it being too damn hot outside….. at least none of the local mosquitoes have hatched out yet… counting blessings over here, boss!.... hey, I’d rather be forced to lay in the hammock covered in a fleece than slathered with anti-bug spray any day……

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Irish....

…. dreams can be dazzling things… windows to the psyche, mirrors of our deepest desires, and occasionally, well, the proverbial peep into the dark closet of our deepest fears…..

… last night, boys and girls, I had me some fitful nightmares.. chased by thundering clouds of angry bumblebees, pursued by Zombies, circled by sharks as I bobbed in the waves, it was unbelievably horrible…. So much so that I actually got up and did a sweep through the house with the trusty .45 before daybreak….

… my goodness, what a night…. and this morning?.... crisp, cool weather…. Sunshine and cloudless skies….. and the day is pregnant with the promise of an Irish Car-bomb over lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s…. and shrimp…. And steak….

… and so, with that, I am off, friends…… and even though there isn’t a single Irish bone in my body, I wish you all a great St. Patrick’s day…. and remember, Guinness is good for you……

… oh, and I have to give props to my ole buddy, Walrilla…. his knowledge of Terminator II is pretty damn impressive…. and I hereby bow to his superior sci-fi geekdom… however, I am still calling bullshit on that scene where the pasty-skinned Alien gets ground up into little bitty hunks of Alien and dispersed thinly across outer space…. I'll stick by my thought that it would be impossible to plead to Momma when your innards have been sucked out…..

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Stuff....

…. mercy, folks…. I don’t care much for basketball & the whole March Madness thing, but Tennessee just laid a fairly mighty smackdown on those boys from Long Beach….

.. in other news, I called up ole Elisson this morning while he was in the midst of his radio show and spoke to him for a good while about foot-long corndogs…. No, really….. they sell those things out in the hinterlands of south Georgia…. I seen’em with my own two eyes…..

… oh, and that reminds me… do you guys remember that silvery-liquid-metal guy from Terminator II?... why did he need that cop’s pistol when he first came back to Earth?.... it looks to me like he should have been able to use his morphing ability to just make one of his hands some sort of cannon and just launch little pieces of himself at Arnie…. like “smart ammo” or something…. And while I’m thinking of it, how come that crossbred Alien in Alien Resurrection was still squealing and making goo-goo eyes at Sigourney Weaver when all of its guts, legs, and most of its chest had already been sucked out to space through that crack in their ship’s hull?... hello?!?... how can you make a racket and plead innocently for salvation when all your innards have been liquefied and puked out into the great vacuum of space??....

.. shit like that just pisses me off….. oh, and Nevada just beat Creighton in overtime….. damnation….

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Groups....

… four whitetail doe skirted the edge of the tree-line out back this morning as I drank my coffee….. they kept close to the tangled woodland and furtively stretched their necks out over my newly green lawn to test the grass with their lips….

… delicate things – secretive and fragile – they moved with precision… and there was an overwhelming aura of caution that permeated the air when you watched them move… not timid, no, ready to flee or fight, but not resigned to their fate….

… individuals, and part of a group…. I watched them for nearly fifteen minutes before they disappeared into the gray maze of the budding, leafless oaks and poplars…..

… you know, it’s hard to be a voyeur around these parts, but I give it one hell of an effort…….

... oh, and go and vote now, dammit.... the wimmins are kicking my tail.....

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Books!....

… so I’m sitting here tired and sunburned (… tired from the trip to the gym that my Evil Brother forced upon me early this morning– and sunburned from my patio time while trying to recover from aforementioned gym trip/saga.. ) and I am at a complete loss for words…..

… sure, sure, I could tell all you hammerheads about the infamous Claxton Rattlesnake Wrestling Excursion, but where would the fun in that be?... hey, if y’all want to know what goes on with the Jawja Bloggers hit town for a blogmeet, then come along!.... don’t be expecting yours truly to be dishing out the dirty details for all you sit-at-home types after the fact…. you want to run with the Big Dogs?... then get your lazy asses off of the porch and howl a little…..

.. so, other than that?.... I got nothing….. hell, I’ve got so much nothing that I am thinking of starting up a sale on nothing and offering free, freshly made cupcakes to anyone who’ll line up to take a spoonful of my nothing off my hands…. Yeah, it’s that bad…. and to top it off, there is a Blog Battle going on while I am woefully content-less!!.... mercy, folks….. woe betide the blog-loafer, people….. hey, vote if you want, but I don’t deserve to win…..

… anyway, as I was sitting around getting burned by the Sun this afternoon, I was casually leafing through an ancient book of poetry that I was gifted a while back by Army Wife Toddler Mom when she visited….. an original Ogden Nash, ladies and gentlemen…... and in it, I found these lines which just made my day…. behold…..



I Must Tell You About My Novel, by Ogden Nash

My Grandpa wasn’t salty,
No hero he of fable,
His English wasn’t faulty,
He wore a coat at table.
His character lacked the color
Of either saint or satyr,
His life was rather duller
Than that of Walter Pater

Look at Grandpa, take a look!
How can I write a book!

His temper wasn’t crusty,
He shone not forth majestic
For barroom exploits lusty,
Or tyranny domestic.
He swung not on the gallows
But went to his salvation
While toasting stale marshmallows,
His only dissipation.

Look at Grandpa, take a look!
How can I write a book!

My Uncle John was cautious,
He never slipped his anchor,
His probity was nauseous,
In fact he was a banker.
He hubbed no hubba hubbas,
And buckled he no swashes,
He wore a pair of rubbers
Inside of his galoshes.

Look at my Uncle, take a look!
How can I write a book!

My other Uncle, Herbie,
Just once enlarged his orbit,
The day he crushed his derby
While cheering James J. Corbett.
No toper he, or wencher,
He backed no horse or houri,
His raciest adventure
A summons to the jury.

Look at my Uncles, take a look!
How can I write a book!

Round my ancestral menfolk
There hangs no spicy aura,
I have no racy kinfolk
From Rome to Gloccamora.
Not nitwits, not Napoleons,
The mill they were the run of,
My family weren’t Mongolians;
Then whom can I make fun of?

Look!
No book!

…. Things are dry, people…. very, very dry…… and hey!... Look!... no book!....

bloody hell….

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Bye....

…. Good morning, my gentle, sweet rubberneckers….

…. It is with a heavy, tissue-swabbed, and overburdened heart that I greet you with this tragic day… for this very morning at half-past eight (and just as the dawning Sun turned the hazy blue-grey sky to a fiery red), my favorite jeans took an unexpected turn for the worse and died quickly while vainly clutching my thighs…..

… as jeans go, they were unusually comfortable…. and I cut many a stylish swath whilst enjoying their warm companionship…. mere Wranglers, they were born from lowly and cost-efficient stock, but that never bothered them…. …. “Cheerful in all weathers, they never shirked a task”….. not even after a night of bad Chinese food or Indian take-out…..

…. I bought them early in their life and we bonded straight-off…. the kind of bond that can only be shared between two friends who understand and accept each other unreservedly… pounds here and pounds there never came between us…. They didn’t even mind if I occasionally racked the belt in an extra notch or even went belt-less….

…. It is a sad day here, folks, but I will soldier on….. it is what they would have wanted…..

…. A short funeral and cremation will be held in the back yard this afternoon once I have composed myself…..

… so long, old friend….. you will be missed…….

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Napping...

…. Good afternoon, my fine friends…. It’s a glorious day here in the valley…. The woodpeckers are woodpeckering in the back yard, the froglets are singing in the empty lot across the street, and I’m just inside from swinging in the hammock on the deck and wishing everything would just shut the fuck up so that I could catch a nap…. (it takes more than a mere 24 hours to properly recover and recharge one’s batteries after a successful blogmeet, people…)

… in other news, I see that I have been honored by being a finalist in Leesa’s “Battle of the Blogs” endeavor….. Leesa, ma’am, thanks…. You’ve put a lot of hard work into it, and you deserve a medal or something… or maybe just a really nice BLT on white toast with some ice cold Newcastle to wash it all down…. but either way, thank you for including me in your competition….

… as for the rest of you rubberneckers, get over there and read some of the fine blogs represented…. And vote for the one that you like the bestest…..

… what am I up to?.... I’m off in search of sunscreen and a set of ear plugs…. it’s nappin’ time in Tennessee, folks…..

Update: .... everyone's favorite blogging Hillbilly has a pome poem that all bloggers should read.... that is all....

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Eating....

..... well, I'm home..... no rattlesnakes bit me neither.... and I didnt even get a chance to eat any rattlesnakes..... hell, they had a whole pen full of them and no one had them on the grills... AND no one would let any of us close enough to skin one.......

... it was fun, but still, more tomorrow....

.... it is insane to hang with Jawja Bloggers.... it really, really is.....

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Rattlesnakin'.....

... I'm away, rubberneckers..... 'tis That Time once again..... and I have to say, I am absolutely beside myself with anticipation.... see, I have never seen a Miss Rattlesnake before.... I'll be sure to snap her photo for you guys....

... so y'all be careful now... and remember....... it's a jungle savannah out there......

.. oh my....

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Breakfast....

…. As the Missus blearily stumbled out of the bedroom this morning for her rendezvous with a bowl of Wheatabix, I cheerfully greeted her with a steaming cup of coffee and a smile…

… “what are you so happy about this morning?”….

… “me?... ahhh, it is just another beautiful day… just look at that cloudless sky out there, see?”….

…. “uggg.... *growl* *cough*.... I need more coffee… “…

…. “here you go, babe…. it is freshly brewed…. Just stopped perking only a few minutes ago…. “ ..

… “so have you booked your room for the Rattlesnake Wrestling Competition yet?”…

… “nope, not yet… I’ll be doing that this afternoon..”

…. “ok… be good this weekend…. And don’t you bite any snakes on Saturday in Claxton, alright?” …..

…. See how my days often start, rubberneckers?.... you really cant make this stuff up…. and as a topping on today’s adventurous banana split, I am in the process of making my very first pot roast!...

… I tell you, boys and girls, it is pure excitement here 24/7…. I’m off to pack my bags and dice up some carrots…..

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Technology....

…. Atlanta traffic is a fickle beast…. and a beast that should be dragged off, tied to a tree, and stabbed for eight or ten hours with a rusty fork before finally being covered in molasses for the fire ants to painfully munch into oblivion…

.. what can I say?... I’m a country boy…. And as of late, the mere mention of the words I-285 are enough to make me want to seek out some poor, defenseless, cuddly woodland creature and force it to watch endless episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond” until it’s poor, wee, timorous woodland-mind melts and seeps from it’s nostrils and earholes....

….. yes, I can get that evil when the mood strikes me…… y’all have been warned…. But I digress…..

… in other news, the Brother in Law is away safe and sound, and is now winging his way towards London at 39,000 feet… he will shortly be back in the waiting arms of Ma and Pa…. on a surreal note, though, the Missus’ cell phone rang as I was zipping through Chattanooga on I-75 and it was my Sister in Law calling from Dhaka, Bangladesh….

… I was amazed….. I mean, just imagine the scene…. The three of us in Sylvia doing 80mph in five lanes of traffic, smoking cigarettes, eating Krystal double-cheese burgers, sipping Coca-Cola, and jovially chatting to someone 12,000 miles away who was being pedaled around town in a rickshaw by a guy whose entire monthly salary wouldn’t have bought one of the bags of Krystal French Freedom Fries that we were eating….

… modern technology, boys and girls…. it truly is an incredible thing….

… although, I will add (and I will be the first to admit that even with all the modern techie devices, it is absolutely impossible to describe the taste and texture of a grease-sodden Krystal burger over a telephone to someone who has never experienced one firsthand) that our conversation did falter at times when she asked “so, what are you guys doing?”…..

… I suggested that he simply tell her that the burgers seem to already be partially digested once they are removed from the box, but he didn’t have the nerve to go that far over an international line…. later though, he did mention that perhaps Krystal burgers are meant to be eaten by old-age pensioners who have digestive problems….. (them being already partially digested by some sort of unknown chemical that coats the entire delicacy just before it is drippingly dropped into its box, well, it would likely be of benefit to someone with geriatric-related digestive problems)…..

… so, yes… while we enjoyed a wonderful drive down and a delightful chat with his wife in Asia, we failed miserably in simply describing the humble Krystal double-cheese burger… even to an insightful, clever, educated, and worldly lass such as herself…..

… some things in life just have to be experienced to be understood…..

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Time...

… well, the party is nearly over….. and I have to say that I’m more than just a bit sad to see the old Brother in Law puttering around the house packing his bags…. It had been such a long, long time….. and his visit with us has been a truly wonderful treat…..

… the Missus and I will soon be off to the Atlanta airport to drop him off and say our goodbyes….. we’ll see him again later on in the springtime when we visit Scotland….

… one thing is for sure, though… we’ll not let six more years slide away before spend time together again……

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Sunshine....

…. me and The Crew descended upon a deserted hayfield this afternoon and put a few rounds downrange… it was a welcome stress reliever, people, trust me… there are very few things which cheer the weary soul like sunshine, the spicy aroma of cordite, and the elation of hitting a target that you’re aiming at….

… we enjoyed the absolute Hell out of ourselves… we even popped a few ventilation holes in some old dead cows that were laying around in the general vicinity…. Heh, and you people didn’t think I knew how to have fun our here in Sticksville!...

… and as proof that I actually spent a few hours out of doors and enjoyed the blistering March heat, here’s a shot of me dodging fresh cowpies after having secured some targets down range with the assistance of Loopy and Poopy (my handsome, articulate, and straight-shootin' assistants for the day)…

walking_small.jpg

.... oh, and earlier today?... I finally managed to introduce the Scottish Brother in Law to real, downhome, made-from-scratch, biscuits and gravy..... he was polite enough, sure, and he ate it.... but I really don't think that he'll be mixing up a batch every morning once he returns to The Old Country.....

... hey, it's easy being Southern.... it really is.... but if you ain't Southern?... it's quite a task to pretend that you are.....

... and that is just as it should be.....

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Nachos....

…. Well, we’re all back safe and sound….. Nashville was, as per usual, a total blast…. Tootsie’s had an incredible band playing – as did the Stage on Broadway and many other places…. and we enjoyed chilling to “Def Leprechaun” playing at Mulligan’s down on 2nd Ave…..

… it was a cold, drunken walk back up the hill to The Sheridan though, but I suffered through it…. and, as most god-fearin’ men do, I rose early and toured the grounds of the state capitol in the crisp morning air while everyone else slept off their over-imbibing from The Night Before…..

… a word of warning to those reckless ones among you, though…. steer clear of the pulled-pork nachos that they serve at B.B. King’s place…. While they are extremely yummy going down, you’ll pay for them come the next day… two or three times….. and hey, I was blessed with the constitution of a rutting rhino and they still worked my innards like a hillbilly on a banjo…..

…. So take it from me, y’all, you’ve officially been warned…..

.. anywhoo, tomorrow and Tuesday are down-days for our merry band of miscreants, so there might (perhaps) be more content here…. then again, I wouldn’t exactly hold my breath on that if I were you guys….. the Brother in Law has expressed a deep-seated desire to fire my black guns again, so one of those evenings that’ll be taking place……

… you know, whoever said that firearms aren’t fun just didn’t have the right teacher, boys and girls….. it’s all in the wrist, I’ve heard it said…. Or perhaps, it’s all in picking the right kind of targets to blast….. I forget… either way, we’ll be photo-documenting the bursting of some balloons very soon at a website near you…..

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Trekking....

… well, children, the caravan is packed and the knots are all tied…. and the smelly camels are milling around crapping in the front lawn and chewing their cuds with an anxious smirk……. ‘tis time to cue the Algerian music, hoist ourselves atop the beasts, rack a round in the old Tuareg rifle, give the veil an extra twist, and begin the trek towards Nashville…

… the sky is blue and the temperature is mild, so I do not foresee any great difficulties on the journey…. And today?... Sylvia, my trusty Audi, is getting a well-deserved break…. and we’re taking the Cadillac instead…. which is pure goodness, if you ask me…. it is time to let ole Cary climb that plateau for a change…. Sylvia is more than capable, of course, but she’s feeling a bit overused lately…

… oh, and before I forget, contact information….. if anyone simply MUST reach me, just ring up the bartender at Tootsie’s and have him do a quick trawl through the seething throng…. I might just be stuck in there somewhere… and if not, well, I’ll likely be wandering the streets somewhere between The Capital building and the Cumberland River with two wide-eyed Scots in tow….

… we’ll see you fine, fine ladies and gentlemen back here on Sunday evening….. I expect that I’ll have a few tales to tell… and hopefully a few photos to share…..

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Down....

… today is one of those rare days where I just absolutely cannot be motivated…. it’s dismal, really….. a fine mist of apathy has rained steadily down upon me all day and I now sit surrounded by turbid pools of the oily liquid…. and it smells vaguely of mackerel….. or Arbroath at low tide….. but there it is, gentle people, and it remains…..

… I drove the Brother in Law out to Dayton, Tennessee today so that he could tour the infamous court house and buy himself a “Well, I’ll be a Monkey’s Uncle!” tee-shirt… and we succeeded in our mission… we even got a chance to listen to one of the curators of the wee museum try and convince us that the whole Scopes Monkey Trial back in 1925 was a giant, secret conspiracy designed to bring fame, fortune, and investors to darkest Rhea County…. can you believe that?....

… hey, he sold a good story… but if he is to believed, then I’d say those conspirators were world-class morons…. I mean, I aint the smartest tool in the box, but if I wanted to bring notoriety to my small town, I sure wouldn’t do it by proclaiming to The Entire Modern World my ignorance by publicly prosecuting someone for teaching the Theory of Evolution….. but then again, perhaps that curator’s story is just a smokescreen… a clever ploy he’s using because he’s become tired of explaining to all the visitors how literally the Bible was translated in the 1920s, backwoods Tennessee……. Either way, the whole experience has left me with a severe care of soul-jaundice… deep and abiding….

.. so yeah, I’m unmotivated and depressed today…. so much so that I even bought two pounds of ribs for dinner tonight and can’t be bothered to light the grill to cook them……screw it, I’m too tired….. I’ll open a can of beanie weenies later on and just spoon them to my mouth directly from their little greasy tin….

… tomorrow I am off for two nights at the Sheraton in downtown Nashville… perhaps that’ll perk me up…. I hear that there is a brew house down by the river….. and hey, even in this state, hope springs eternal…..

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Nerves....

….. it appears that a new channel has been launched today on DirecTV…. The “Chiller” channel… fully stocked with an endless procession of slasher flicks, monster movies, and all other manner of haintly programs…..

… for the record, horror pictures are most decidedly NOT my bag…. I scare easy…. and once I’ve been worked into a terrorized frenzy, it takes me forever to calm back down…. and some days, well, there just isn’t quite enough Scotch to ensure booger-free dreams once I slip off to Neverneverland… so as a rule?... I give the frightening films the thumbs down… preferring to let my subconscious create its own monsters and nightmares after I’ve drifted off to sleep….

… today though, well, I’ve been outnumbered and trumped… and my humble home has been filled with blood-curdling screams that have emanated forth from the television ever since I served bacon and fried eggs this morning for breakfast….

… I’ve seen zombies, werewolves, vampires, murderers, gold diggers, killer cockroaches, aliens, psychos, rabid dogs, giant crocodiles, gargoyles, demons, and philandering Christian ministers…..all creating a million and one horrific, nightmarish atrocities…. and hell, it’s only dinnertime…

… even right now as I write this, a sepia-toned policeman is interviewing Norman Bates about the disappearance of that leggy blonde that he stabbed a few scenes ago….

… I think I need a valium…..

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