Kids.....

first visit? … a gladiator, a witch, and some little guy dressed completely in red like The Devil of yore- sans his pitchfork…..

…. but, wow, a gladiator?..... the little guy was probably all of five years old….. man, that is just plain hardcore…… good God, I love living in Tennessee……

.. second visit?..... a Spiderman (complete with the little pullover facemask – I am surprised that the little guy could see well enough to pick out his candy)….. he opened the door, said “Trick or Treat” and then handed me a “dum dum” sucker….. heh heh heh…. his Mother stepped in and said, “no, honey!... be patient!... HE will give YOU candy!”…. the confused little guy couldn’t have been more than three…. definitely his first Halloween of many, many to come…..

third visit?.... two twin Darth Vaders without their helmets (.. no shit, identical twins!…) and a 16-year old guy who was nearly as big as me and who was dressed as a Holstein heifer…. complete with a four-teat udder fashioned just above his pubic bone..… which he pointed to and laughed while giggling, “Holstein heifer”.....

…. yes, I gave him candy anyway…… but I do sense either prison-time or political candidacy in his future…… or possibly both….. but then again, this IS Tennessee…..

... and that was the extent of my Trick-or-Treater fun for the evening.....

…. so Happy Halloween, everyone….. celebrate now, y’all…. for tomorrow is NOVEMBER!..... which, of course, will suck……

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Olives....

….. sitting at the computer searching for recipes for ‘beef olives’ on the internet while the howls, shrieks, and bloodcurdling pleas from the victims in “The Hills Have Eyes” echo through from the living room…… ‘tis a bit unnerving, really…..

…. And honestly?.... hearing cannibals enjoying themselves so raptly is a bit of a buzz-kill when one is trying to focus on finding something yummy for dinner…..

…. Ahhhh…. Success, sort of…. evidently beef olives are steaks that have been beaten flat and then wrapped around some kind of filling/stuffing and then baked…. Ewwww….. oh, and sometimes they use sausage for the filling too!.....

…. Yuck…. nothing sounds appetizing right at this moment…. .

..... Jesus, whatever happened to Frankenstein & King Kong?....

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Wow....

....and speaking of "terrors" in the last post, I just found this via Lollygaggin and Leslie.....

You Are a Werewolf
You're unpredictable, moody, and downright freaky.
You seem sweet and harmless, until you snap. Then you're a total monster.
Very few people can predict if you're going to be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.
But for you, all your transformations seem perfectly natural.

Your greatest power: Your ability to tap into nature

Your greatest weakness: Lack of self control

You play well with: Vampires
What Kind of Monster Are You?

..... scary, scary stuff..... and pretty much true.....

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Terrors....

…. A more perfect autumn day than the one which just passed, well, it’d be hard to find….. practically impossible, now that I think of it……

…. 72 degrees - the perfect outdoor temperature for my body… long-sleeves & jeans weather…… a cloudless, robin’s egg blue sky…. the slightest hint of a breeze which was pregnant with the smell of burning leaves and damp earth and steaks searing on grills…. even the jungle of foliage that surrounds my house is finally bursting with a thousand different colors in celebration of The Season arriving….

…. The garbage from this past weekend’s shindig has been bagged, tagged, and is neatly seated at the end of the driveway awaiting collection by Da Garbage Guyz in a few minutes….

… indeed, the only thing which has remotely harshed my mellow today was witnessing this little badboy on the television…. Behold, gentle rubberneckers….

zombie_alligators_small.jpg

…. damnation!!....zombie alligators!... in FLORIDA!.... .. it made me wish that Jimbo and I could pour ourselves a large tumbler of the INCREDIBLE single malt that Denny gifted me this weekend and suffer through the show screaming like little girls buoy our spirits with a fine spirit and be quaintly entertained by both of our arch-terrors being poked and prodded by the Florida Department of Fish & Game...

… that said, though, it has been a very good day….. I’m off to find a soft spot on the couch and sip upon a 24 year old Highland Park…. It will be the perfect lotion to polish this most excellent day with…. trust me…..

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Lambasted....

…. You know, ladies and gentlemen, some tales that you read about on the internet just get taller and taller as the telling gets more polished…… but hey, that is what is expected!.... after all, as bloggers, we are bullshitters & storytellers by nature!.... that said, I do have to admit that I was guilty as charged…. And while I would love to tell you guys a lovely, touch-feely story about how I actually sprang upon four friendly, frost-covered blogggers while armed with only a feather pillow and handful of peacock quills, sadly, that wasn’t the case….. I did, indeed, have a shovel….. (.. and since this incident is becoming a legend all on its own amongst the Jawja Bloggers, I should probably go and fetch it for a photograph…. what do you think?..)


…. anyhoo, still have no clue what this, your humble, humble servant, is talking about?....

… well, behold my ribbing that just keeps on giving….

….. but in my defense?.... well, no one was actually bashed with a shovel…. And after all, as the host of the party last year, it was my JOB to provide a bit of entertainment, wasn’t it?....

... no?..... well, either way, I was guilty as charged.... meeeeeaaaaaa CULPA!....

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Wonderful.....

…… the last of the gentle people that graced my humble house with their presence have finally departed…. The house is quiet and still and I miss all of you guys already!....

…. Two weeks ago?.... I was down with Velociman & Key, Elisson & SWMBO, Richard & Holder, John Cox, Rick & Georgia, Erica, Jimbo & Da Bodyguard, Joan & The Priate, Leslie, GuyK & Sweet Thing, Sam & Barbie, Michelle, Denny, Zonker, Kelly & The Senior Chief, RSM, and Catfish in Helen, Georgia….

…. This weekend I was graced with Rick & Georgia, Bou & Morrigan, Stephanie, Denny, Johnny Oh, Erica, Teresa, Jimbo & Da Bodyguard, Joshua, Gary & Connie, Big Stupid Tommy, Jerry, and Charlie……

….. good god, people, I do so LOVE October……

…. Now I just have to vacuum, get the dishes sorted out, take out the trash, and find a corner to collapse in…..

.... for those of you who came to my home, thank you..... I enjoyed every single second of having you here....

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Ready.....

…. Hmmmm….. well, it looks like we might get a bit of rain tomorrow morning…. so those of you who are trekking slowly towards The Compound here, drive safe…. the garage has been cleaned out and de-spidered, so if it does rain, we’ll be fine hanging out in there and shooting pool……

…. anyone who is allergic to cat hair might want to give the garage a miss though….

…. the couch in the living room is quite comfy and I highly recommend it…. the big chair is nice as well…..

….. I am stoked!..... safe travels, everyone!....

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Abandoned....

….. good evening, rubberneckers…. I hope that you are all well……. as for me?.... well, today was not a banner day around The Compound here….. nothing major, I guess… (depending on how you look at things in general)….

…. nah…. that’s bullshit….. I cant lie, it messed with my head on lots and lots of levels…. So yes, I guess it was major….. not MY family, no… but a fellow human being nonetheless…

…. I arrived to bring my Sainted Mother lunch today (while she was in the therapy room) and was greeted by a weeping Marie alone in their two-person room….. Mom was off getting her knee tweaked and evidently Marie’s son had just left before I came in the door…… and he had broken the news to her that she will be a resident at the nursing home until she dies…. She was crushed, heartbroken, horrified, and hopeless…. And I caught it all…..

… Marie fell a month ago and couldn’t get herself back up… so she lay in the floor of her old, Polk County home until a neighbor brought her the mail the next day…… bad, bad shape, folks…. So they stuck her in a home…… good god, the arthritis that has taken up residence in her hands has wrecked them so badly that all of her fingers are curled and twisted…. And useless…… a body broken by time and Life….. and yet her mind is as clear and as sharp as anyone’s……

…. I tried to console her as she sobbed, but what could I really do?.....

Me: “What’s wrong, Marie?..... what has happened?... Where is my Mom?”….
Marie: “…. My Son came by and told me that I can’t go home….... I told him that I hate it here, but he said that I have to stay….. “
Me: “……”
Marie: “… I thought he loved me more than that, Eric…. “
Me: “…. “
Marie: “I raised all of my children good, Eric….. I was never mean to any of them.”
Me: …. “….I know, ma’am…. I know that you did… can I get you anything?.... are you hungry?”….
Marie: “I will never be hungry again, Eric. I told him that the food here wasn’t fit to eat, but he said that I have to stay anyway.”
Me: …”……..”…
Marie: “I dressed myself this morning. I did it on purpose so that he could see that I could take care of myself.”
Me: ….. “…. That is good, Marie…. It is good that you are getting better and that you can take care of yourself…. Perhaps in a while, you will be able to go home..”….
Marie: “He said that if I wanted to go home, he would bring my checkbook and I could call a taxi…. But he wasn’t going to take me as it wasn’t safe for me to be home alone.”
Me:……. “ I am sorry, Marie….. is there anything that I can do?”….
Marie: “No, honey, there is nothing that you can do.”

…. And she cried and cried….. and I patted her back like someone would do a six year old who had just stumped their toe…… and I knew that this was the end of the road for this poor woman….. this kind, generous, sweet old woman who had gotten married 1 week prior to her 17th birthday (her husband lied to the Justice of The Peace) and raised a family of five…..

…. she was completely betrayed and heartbroken… devastated… and I can’t blame her one bit…… she had every right to be so……

….Goddamnmotherfuckingpieceofshitcocksuckingwhorewhoshouldbe
fuckingmurderedwithanicepickslowlyandmethodicallybyagangofwellhung
llamaswhotaketurnsplowinghisassinbetweenyellsoffuckyeahyouARE
apieceofshitandfuckyeahwearecompletelydiggingshowingyouwhata
worthlessdickheadyoutrulyare?youleftyourMOTHERweepingalone
inaroom…..

.. fuck all that trash, people.... look, here is my promise, folks, and you can trust my words as if they were forged from pure gold…..as long as I am upright and able, I will NEVER allow my Mother to be warehoused… NEVER….. I don’t care if the house falls down around me, my wife walks off and shacks up with the mailman, and Iran gets a nuclear weapon, I will never leave her to sit and know – full well – that she had changed MY diapers and fed ME through a childhood of love and I thought it somehow unseemly to return the fucking favor…..

…. I’ve only known Marie for less than four weeks…… but her lesson to me has been taught absolutely and completely…… and I will not forget…..

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Corruption....

….. I tell you, this right here just made my day….. next thing you know, he’ll be setting up a still and cooking off some ‘shine…. and well, that thought just makes me happy

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Music.....

.. for the boys from Dog Snot, here is a blast from the past... one of my very first links way back when.....

... I hope you guys enjoy...... and hey, bring back your songs, guys...... I miss them...

... get back to where you belong, boys.....

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Return....

….. misty, cool rain today for most of the afternoon……cloudy skies with dark clouds to the East and West…. bracketed…… but the leaves are changing slowly, sleepily, gently.….. not like they did a few years ago with such a vigor that they seemed to change overnight.....

…. the rain that has been lacking during the past Summer is finally arriving…. And everything is drinking their last before the Winter hits….. and from all reports, it will hit with a vengeance…..

…. my favorite time of year, really… October and November….. cool mornings and warm days….. with frosty evenings….. it is absolutely dazzling…… colors that rival the greatest Summer dawn’s flowers and birds….. the Autumn brings a new set of colors – less vibrant, sure – but equally beautiful………

….. and the horn from the train that whips by a few miles away carries so much farther this time of year….. hearing it near the two crossings southwards and the two northwards is never a chore…. I love hearing the whistle as it gets close……

…. And it is easier to hear it when the humidity is low and the air is cold……

…. I so love October…..

…. October is my month - full of the world falling steadily asleep….. I watch it all and cannot get enough……

…. Some people like Spring, I guess…. The rebirth of everything around them….. but for me, I love the fall…..I love The Promise…. I love the idea that everything will return….. again, and again, and again……

.. and you see that best in October….

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Bitten....

… for years, folks… absolutely YEARS I have been biding my time…. sitting patiently, quietly, knowingly…. confident in the certainty that karmic payback would eventually be doled out for this post…. And last night, justice was finally done….. and it was OH SO SWEET!....

…. lookit, please tell me that some of you learned rubberneckers tuned in to the National Geographic Channel last night to watch Brady Barr scream like a little sissy when that python bit him in the ass…. Sweet, ever-loving Jeebus, that was awesome….. I’ve been excited about seeing it since NGC started teasing us all with the trailer three weeks ago…. and let me tell you, it was well worth the wait to see that hammerhead – hip-deep in mud, bat-piss, and bat-shit AND gagging due to ammonia-drenched air – get popped in the ass by an angry reticulated python…. His feeble wailing was an added bonus, too…. good god, what a wonderful night…..

…. I swear, I could hardly quit laughing each time he screamed, “ahhhhyyeeee!!!... it’s got me!... it’s GOT ME!.... AAHHHUUUEEEEE!!!....” …. And then later when he was still wading around in the bat shit?... he blubbed a few more times and then cried, “I gotta get OUT of HERE!... I got a REALLY BAD BITE!”….

… damnation, folks, I nearly peed myself….. and hey, we don’t use the term “gleeful” around these parts very often….. but with every whine that emanated from his cinderblock-like head, the glee-factor in my living room rose by 10%...... and by the end of that hour-long show, I was positively gleeful…..

…. don’t get me wrong, now…. I am not the type of person to ever wish ill-will on anyone… especially not someone that I have never met….. but I will tell you this, watching him crap his pants and scream like a little girl made me very, very happy….

.. if you ask me, the bastard had it a’coming….. so here you go, gentle rubberneckers..... behold a bit of the trailer that made me so enjoyably gleeful....

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Jeebies.....

….. my little stretch of jungle continues to keep me entertained…. I tell you, when it starts getting the least bit chilly here in Tennessee, every critter that can muster the energy to seek shelter begins weedling their way into my home….. why, just today I was visited by praying mantis that was about 7 inches long whilst I to’d and fro’d in my garage…. and a wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie tree frog was spotted later in the day while I lounged on the deck after Tennessee got thrashed… (.. sincere apologies to Rabbie Burns for that one)…. and the grackles are here, too, having made the trip from Yankeeland for the winter, and legions of them are currently arguing in the trees out back…

… and on top of everything else, there was a huge catfight last night somewhere in the darkness of the woods behind the house….. complete with a bloodcurdling caterwauling that would make fingernails on blackboards sound like a cello being gently stroked while firmly gripped between Susan Sarandon’s thighs…..

…. Anyhoo, since I know that y’all are absolutely riveted with anticipation, here’s a shot of the aforementioned Monstermantis…..

mantis_small.jpg

.... pretty good size, non?.... took up the entire shoulder of The Missus' wax jacket, he did....

.... as for the tree frog, well, it was taking refuge in a tiny nook where the vinyl siding meets the kitchen window..... here he be.....

tree_frog_small.jpg

.... I tell you, boys and girls, it's a jungle out there...... and hey, just because I love all of you so much, here's a little video of the black widow that I mentioned a few posts ago just before I nipped her in the proverbial bud....... enjoy, folks!....


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Bleeding....

…. For those of you who are making the intrepid trip out to my bungalow next weekend, you will be happy to know that my garage (where the pool table is) is serenely free of free-ranging black widow spiders…… courtesy of my Brother and I breaking our backs to make sure that it was a spider-free zone today…..

…. Chemical weapons were used, I am sorry to say….. as well as fly-swatters, rolled-newspapers, and an old tile-knife that he found laying around somewhere…….. so yes, you guys will be safe when you visit next weekend…… but just remember the Monumental Brutality that was flexed to make sure that you guys were able to have a “good time” while at my humble pad…..

.. good god, half of my ‘blogfodder’ got whacked Soprano-style in the course of one afternoon because of you arachnophobic hammerheads….. just think on that for a moment, people….. I crush my blog’s livelihood simply to make you guys more “comfortable”….

….. y’all just simply have no idea how much me, my neighborhood, and the environment as a whole absolutely BLEEDS (literally, not figuratively) for you guys……

... I should get a fucking Peace Prize or something.....

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Music...

…. whilst randomly cruising youtube this afternoon, I happened upon a song that I hadn’t heard in years….. and I was completely mesmerized….. it was an old “Nitty Gritty Dirt Band” song called “Long Hard Road”…… and what a flood of memories it brought back…..

…. I’ve never picked cotton as they depict in the song…. Cotton is grown about two hundred miles further west than where I lived as a child…. and my family was never really that poor…. but when I was overseas for the first time at 17 years of age, hearing that song piping its way across the AFRTS channel and into my lonely ops floor, I identified…..even when off the coast of Siberia and watching the Russian fleet leave Petropavlovsk, I clung to every word that ventured forth from Jimmy Ibbotson’s mouth….. that song grounded me…..

….. I was the youngest, always (it seemed)…. and the only Southerner in the group…. And I was most definitely out of my element among the buzzing pieces of crypto equipment and the polished, hermetically sealed floors……while the structure of the place strangled and scared me…. but that is beside the point…

….back to the song, yes?….. see, with myself, it was tobacco instead of cotton….. and a more vile crop has never been harvested, if you ask me, than tobacco…. tobacco is a tribulation from the moment that you plant it until the 9 months later when you finally take the crusty, mummified remnants from harvest to auction…….. bales upon bales of sorted leaves that took thousands of manhours to plant, grow, protect, weed, top, sucker, fertilize, chop, spear, load, carry, hang, wait for drying, unload, de-stalk, sort, stack, bale, and then tote off to auction…. It was a year-long battle of endurance for that “cashcrop” that is tobacco….. and I hated every second of it….. and I did it every single summer from the ages of 12 to 17….

… but yes, the song…… that has been what has caused all of the rambling….. so I guess that I should share…. So, here you go…… enjoy

way back in my memory there’s a scene that I recall
Of a little rundown cabin in the woods
My Daddy never promised that our blue moon would turn gold
But he lay awake night wishin’ that it would
…”

….. we should all be so lucky as to notice those little things that end up meaning so much to us later on in life…… and I am not talking about me….. no, not me at all…… good god, I miss those little cues all the time….. they transit by me at a furious pace, and I miss them ALL the time….. but for us all, we need to stop and listen…. and watch….

…. Whether tobacco, corn, cotton, sugar cane, legislation, doctorial, presidential, or whatever manner of vocation that your Father, Mother, Grandfather, or Grandmother won the bread for your family, just stop and listen once in a while….. trust me, it is important……

… my Father, the Railroadman, is dead…… and he will be dead a long, long time……. and I cried when I watched that video that I linked above…..

….. but look….. the boys that I linked are talking about music….. and they do it very well…. but their message is truly timeless….. a bit romantic and over-the-top, sure….. but it is still a message worth listening to….

… no, I’ve never been to an old rundown cabin in the woods….. and I never truly understood the idea of my “blue moon” turning into “gold”.. but I guarantee that my Father DID lie awake at night wishing that our blue moon would turn gold…..

…. Just as all of your Fathers did….. … and that is the power of that song……

… sorry for the rant, folks….. but I was in a bad mood….. and I do so adore that song……

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Location...

….. I washed out the garage this afternoon and discovered another black widow spider…. That makes seven so far this year…. This one wasn’t quite as big as her sisters, but she was still quite formidable….

… the scary thing about this latest black widow was the choice she made of where to build her web….

… before washing off the concrete, I made a run around the garage and moved everything that I wanted to remain dry up onto the pool table…. And as I reached for the big, black binder that keeps all my CDs held snugly (it was leaning against the wall below the stereo), I noticed the web…. the clever female had used my CD case as a lean-to….. but hey, that’s one thing about a Black Widow’s web… once you have seen one, they are easy to spot…. And once you’ve followed the silken tendrils up and spied the shiny, black spider?... well, to say that you’ll retain that web-recognition ability is without question….

…. Anyway, I was a bit shocked to see her in the garage….. usually there are just American house spiders in residence there, and it struck me as a bit exotic to see her scratching out a living down there among Warren Zevon and Neil Young……I killed her, of course….. she was just too close to where “I” live to be let-off with a warning….. so I nipped her in two with one of the knives that were resting on the foundation’s ledge near her….

… but that’s just the way it is, folks…..Life & Livelihood are sometimes governed by being at the right place at the right time…. if she’d chosen a nook in the Dogwood tree just ten feet to the south, she’d have done just fine….. but instead?.... oblivion….

… my goodness….. location, location, location, folks…… there are a million quips about it….. “ships passing in the night”, “people missing each other time and time again from place to place only to find each other forty years later and fall madly in love”, “It’s a small world”, etc., etc, ad infinitum… location, location, location……

…. I truly hated to do her in, really….. and I actually hesitated for just a split-second before lopping her in half…… she truly was a beautiful creature, after all.… but sadly, even the Almighty Power of Beauty crumbles and falls to the cold, unflinching rules of Location, Timing, and Just Plain Bad Luck…..

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Coping....

…. I spent most of the day driving the Sainted Mother to and from the hospital to have the staples removed from her knee…… and while she was a trooper throughout, I still had to cringe just a bit….. I mean, staples and human flesh just don’t mix, if you ask me….. sure, I’ve been superglued and stitched-up, but staples?.... no thanks…..

… and in other news, the nursing home is definitely beginning to grate on my otherwise sensible sensibilities….. I swear, the more that I go there the more that I loathe the experience…… but….. and this is a very big but…. I escorted my Mother to rehab twice over the past few days and I have been amazed at the interaction that she has with the other inmates…..

…. At first – walking beside her while she toddled along in her walker – I heard a drooling & wheelchaired man say “gurgle oogle oogle gurgle gurgle” as she passed…… and I was mortified….. oh, the humanity!... that poor, out-of-his-gourd fellow!..... but to my astonishment, my Momma turned and replied…. “why, how nice!... thank you Mr. Johnson!... these ARE new capri pants that I’m wearing!.... and yes, my son WAS throwing rocks at you!”…. which caused Mr. Johnson to break into belly-fits of laughter……. It was much like a blogmeet in the awesome incredulity of the circumstance…. But still, it was funny in a warped, demented, and deeply hopeless sort of way……

… but that brings me to my point…

….. so either my Mother is completely losing it…. or she has learned to speak to the elderly on a whole new strata-level…. And either way I am doomed…. confused, sure… but doomed absolutely….. OR she has completely found herself a new niche as the Cheryl Ladd of the Old Folks Home……

… which would take my current paranoia to a completely new level…..

... I mean, DAMN, the last thing that I need is one of these guys as my new stepfather.....

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Elvis....

…. When I was fourteen years old I drew a self-portrait of myself for Mrs. Ealy’s summer art class….. sporting a Winchester Firearms baseball cap that was frayed at the brim by way too much time spent hunting early-autumn doves, the artwork was a sight to behold…. And yes, I drove my ’51 Ford all the way in to Englewood to sit at those art lessons…… I bring this up only in passing, of course….. since even though I wasn’t really a fan of The King, my early self-portrait looked a LOT like a pubescent Elvis ala 1955….. less the black eye-shadow….. and the pouty lips…. (I have no lips per se.... just bits of skin to cover my teeth...)

.. but those of you who have met me will recognize right off that bat that I look very, VERY little like Elvis….. (I know that this will come as a huge shock to many of you, and I am truly sorry..) ….

… but yet, there it is….. in my mind’s little eye (and even though I was more into ZZ Top than Elvis), the picture speaks for itself even unto this day… I might post a shot of it later in the week if I can dig it out of the closet….. which, incidentally, is exactly where it belongs…….

…. But this weekend, of course, I was blessed to meet a True Artiste and have my caricature scrawled by his horny hands….. if you wanna see it, it be here….. (I am down near the bottom..... the guy who looks like he has leprosy..) ....

…. But trust me now, boys and girls, there ain’t no Elvis wannabees anywhere to be seen ANYWHERE in that sketch…. as a matter of fact, it looks like a pretty odd collection of weeble wobbles…… but hey, it WAS a blogmeet after all…. and I’d imagine that Mr. Cox’s drawing is pretty much spot on….. those of us who weren’t weebling by the end of the night were most definitely wobbling…..

…. Really, though?.... art don’t lie…. And evidently I am ˝ forehead and ˝ evil grin…. Hey, who knew!?....

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Stiff....

…. Survived another one, folks…. I’m sore everywhere….. and I can still blast a hanging curveball out of the ballpark… good God, pretending that I was twelve years old all day on Saturday made today’s birthday morning (at 35) a stiff and sore-muscled one…..

…. wow..... Just Damn!..... Trust me, fellow bloggers…. there is no place on Earth like Helen, Ga when the bloggers come to town……

… and it just gets stranger and more wonderful each and every year…..

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Helen.....

…. We’re off in the morning towards Helen, Ga…. and morning can’t get here soon enough…..

…. But for your enjoyment, I found this little clip on youtube…. And let me tell you….. it is just one of the MANY reasons to come to blogtoberfest…… trust me….

… that and the sauerkraut…. Oh, and the beer…… and the interesting folks who carry blogs that you’ll meet there…..

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Plankowner....

…. I was up early this morning and quickly zipped out to visit my Sainted Mother…..she is coming along very nicely, and the surgery (and physical therapy) seem to have left her with no more pain than she was experiencing BEFORE the surgery…. that just amazes me…. I mean, if your knee is hurting so badly that having the damn thing CUT OUT didn’t hurt much more?.... good God…..

…. in a nutshell, that means that she was well overdue to have that bum knee replaced….

…. and the inmate she is rooming with at the nursing home is a sweet little thing…. her name is Marie and she is 90 years old…. wheelchair bound and as deaf as a post, she still has all of her mental faculties and is quite a clever conversationalist…. albeit they’re a bit one-way since she can’t hear your replies, but still, you always have to look on the bright side… especially since the ain’t that many bright sides in a damnable nursing home….

… I took Marie some onion rings that I’d picked up at the local Sonic yesterday and she ate every damn one of them…. and then shook the crumbs out of the little paper bag and nibbled them too…. She’d told me a few days earlier that she “liked” the onion rings from Sonic…. Heh… “liked” was likely the understatement of the century….. that tiny, twisted, lovable white-haired old lady ate those onion rings like they were dipped in honey… or like they were going to be her last meal…. which, incidentally, they might, I guess…..

… there is another old guy who I see nearly every time that I visit…. short and thin, but walking around as straight as a ramrod…. hands always tucked into the pockets of his blue “US Navy” windbreaker…. And his surface warfare badge pinned to the front of his “USS Yorktown (CV-10) Plankowner” baseball cap….. I definitely need to find out more about that guy…. I bet he is a BIG hit with the female inmates…. Oh yeah…..

… anyway, I’m off to scrabble through the kitchen in search of something to cook for dinner…. It’s 60 degrees outside and the wind is gusting…. So I’m thinking chili…. Or maybe potato soup with lots and lots of cheese….. I’ll be sure to keep you guys in the loop…..

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Temperature....

… the wind has blown steadily all day here… not a very strong wind, but a sort of wind that seems to be everywhere all at once…. each leaf on every tree – from grass-level to the tip-tops – is wiggling, bucking, and vibrating in unison with his companions…..

… makes you quite dizzy, actually, if you look at it long enough…..

… anywhoo, I gathered together with a few of the usual suspects (and Bou's charming sister, Morrigan) last night for a fine lunch, enjoyable meal, and very pleasant company….. and this weekend – and the annual Helen Blogtoberfest – will be upon us before we know it…

... mercy, autumn is definitely in the air, folks…. College football, turning leaves, and blogmeets….. oh my….

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Gone...

..... off to ATL, boys and girls..... y'all have a nice night......

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Reptiles....

…. You know, everything you need to know about The World in General is out there on the internet… and most of it is out there courtesy of your local intrepid blogger…..

like this, for instance….. go forth and bathe in the fine, quivering illumination of The Honest Truth…..

... and remember, folks... everything that you read on the internet is 100% true..... trust me...

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Update...

…. The past few days have been one helluva roller coaster…… enough so that even little ole me has stressed just a bit here and there…. but now it seems that everything has evened out….. after dealing with a nurse with a Napoleon Complex, the sailing has been smooth

…. But I will say this, folks…. If you have your wits about you and end up being put in a nursing home?.... you most certainly wont have those wits after a few weeks…… it was an eye-opening experience that I do believe has scarred me for life…. And having to place my sane Mother in amongst those forgotten, hopeless inmates has seriously messed with hers AND my heads…. How anyone could drop off their Mothers or Fathers – after years of love and kindness – into such places and never come to visit just blows my mind…..

…. As for me when my day comes?.... I seriously doubt that I’ll slip away like those old folks…. ancient, crippled, forgotten, and gasping through each day just isn’t in my cards, I suspect…. My lifestyle choices are not ones that normally produce longevity…. And after seeing how the old are treated lately, I’m kinda glad of that….

… and on that soul-crushing high, how are YOU GUYS doin’??....

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Loss....

... my goodness..... what a night of football......

.... and as much as I hate to do it, it needs to be done..... so, here goes....

.... and I know that Velociman adores this tune......

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Splendid....

… good afternoon, rubberneckers….. I trust that you are all well….. as for me, I’m splendid…. and as it happens, I am off to have dinner at The Parkside Grill/Tavern with Winston from NobodyAsked…..

…. Y’all don’t wait up now, ya’heah?.....

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Thanks....

…. To all of you who’ve sent well-wishes to my Sainted Mother, a sincere thank you…… I have passed on to her your kind words and she is deeply touched…. Although she still thinks the fact that I have a blog is weird beyond words, she has been moved by the messages of you lovable hammerheads very much….. so, a hearty thank you to you all….. and, for those of you who are curious, she is doing just fine…. Healing well, already up walking with the help of a physical therapist and a large brace, and generally looking forward to living a fine life with a new knee……

…. So if anyone out there is hemming and hawing about getting one (that’s you, Raging Mom)… quit dealing with the pain, find a good surgeon, and start life anew……

…. But enough of all that….. knees are not a topic which I am well-versed in discussing as mine both work just fine….. so far…….. so, in a random change of topic, I will report that tonight I baked two chicken breasts that were stuffed with extra-sharp cheese, mushrooms, salt, pepper, sautéed mushrooms, onions, and garlic…… and then covered with a thick, savory egg, parmesan, breadcrumb glaze for baking….. and in a word?... “wow”….. they were pretty damned tasty, folks….. and yet they still maintained that subtle hillbilly quality while pinned closed with toothpicks…..

….. so, hey, that’s me for the evening….. I spent the morning visiting with my Mother & Brother….. spent the afternoon shopping for dinner-time stuff….. and spent the evening cooking…..

….. and now it is cocktail hour and I am off to introduce myself (most cordially) to a 17-year old Bowmore….. ahhh, the sweet, gentle, caramel charms of a freshly un-corked 17-year old….. I can hardly wait….

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Character....

…. It has been a long while since I posted any of Robert Service’s words…. and that is a shame… he’s one of the men on my Theoretical Shortlist that I’d love to have many, many drinks with over a fine meal…..

… so tonight I’m taking a wee break from computer-sitting, and will instead firmly settle myself in a cushioned chair to read…… I highly suggest that y’all do much the same….

… the poem below is from his “Carols of an Old Codger” that was published in 1954……. And hey, even used ellipses in the title!..... rock on, Mr. Service!.... behold…..


How often do I wish I were..., by Robert W. Service

How often do I wish I were
What people call a character;
A ripe and cherubic old chappie
Who lives to make his fellows happy;
With in his eyes a merry twinkle,
And round his lips a laughing wrinkle;
Who radiating hope and cheer
Grows kindlier with every year.

For this ideal let me strive,
And keep the lad in me alive;
Nor argument nor anger know,
But my own way serenely go;
The woes of men to understand,
Yet walk with humour hand in hand;
To love each day and wonder why
Folks are not so jocund as I.

So be you simple, decent, kind,
With gentle heart and quiet mind;
And if to righteous anger stung,
Restrain your temper and your toungue.
Let thought for others be your guide,
And patience triumph over pride . . .
With charity for those who err,
Live life so folks may say you were--
God bless your heart!--A Character.


…. It is a good poem… and I like it a lot….. but the true ‘characters’ that I know around here?.... well, they’re a lot of fun to hang around with… but ‘cherubic’ they most certainly ain’t…. ‘devilish’ is a much more enjoyable trait in a ‘character’, if you ask me…. but I do see Robbie’s point…..

…. We just have a different set of friends, I suspect….

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Drugs....

…. Well, gentle reader, today was the day that my Sainted Mother went under the knife…… wait, did I say knife?..... knife, hammer, chisel, bone saw, drill, & screwdriver, actually…..

… that’s right, folks she now is in possession of one brand spanking new (and mind-bendingly sore) left knee….

…. I was up at 3:30am to pick her up at 4am to deliver her at the hospital by 5am…… and I’m pooped….. 3:30am is an ungodly hour of the morning and it isn’t fit for man nor beast, just trust me….

…. On the more pleasant plane, I saw my Mother introduced to Mr. Morphine today…. and they quickly became the most marvelous of pals….

…. I suppose that one of the teensy perks of surviving life to adulthood is that you might be afforded the opportunity to watch your Sainted Parents loop themselves up on high-octane drugs and then tell you slurringly about the “day you were born”…. And NOT being afraid to cut out any of the gory details….. (… yeah, loosing the tongue, folks…. That’s another little bag of tricks that Mr. Morphine brings to the table when he shows up for business….. a healthy dose of just plain ole everyday ‘don’t give a shit’…)

… but really, it is those very ‘gory details’ which make the stories of life truly human, no?.... to wit, a conversation…..

Me: … Mom, why was I born down here in Cleveland instead of someplace closer to home?....

Drug-addled Momma (DAM): … HEY! Hey!.... nothing but the best for you, buddy-boy….. Cleveland had the best obstetricianseses….. oh, and because I totally hated Dr. Stephens in Athens….. he was such a complete bastard…

Me: … oh, ok….. wow…. So why was Josh born in Etowah?....

DAM: …. Well, by the time that I had him, it was all about comfort and ease… I wasn’t about to drive all the way to Cleveland… and besides, I was working in a beauty shop in Etowah at the time and I did some of Dr. Benson’s nurses’ hair…. So it was quick, easy, and I knew some of the nurses….

Me: …. Cool…. Must have been a comfort to have seen those friendly faces peering out from between those stirrup-thinggies….

DAM: …. Yeah, well…. not really…. nevermind….. maybe….. you know, when I had Joshua there in Etowah, I never made a single sound through the whole labor…. Four hours, it took…. I never had any painkillers through either of y’all’s births…..

Me: …. wow…. that’s hardcore, Mom…. why were you so quiet?... wasn’t it painful?....

DAM: …. Was it PAINFUL?!?!!?... don’t even go there, boy…..

Me: … what?... bhwahhaahha!.... hey, I’ve never had a kid… describe it to me….

DAM: … no…

Me: … okey dokey….. want some Sprite?.....

DAM: …. Actually, I had done the hair of the two nurses that he chose to assist him when Josh was born…. And there was no way in HELL that I was going to have them coming into the salon and spouting off about how I thrashed, cried, or whatever….. so I just never made one single sound during the whole thing….. afterwards I had bruises on my hands from where I pushed against the birthing-chair so hard…. Gossips…. I so hate people that gossip….. but you know, I never uttered a peep…. Not one single sound….. those girls can kiss my ass….

Me: … yes, Momma…. They most certainly can…..


…. ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you, my Sainted Mother – when in the right frame of mind – is one helluva chick to be reckoned with…..

… here’s to a speedy recovery….. and a giant hope that I manage to write down everything else she said before it slips from my memory….. rehab is gonna be a blast…..

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Catnip.....

….. I am continually amazed by the data on Wikipedia…… and since I found it a few years ago, it has really led me down some twisty, moss-covered paths…..

…. like tonight, for instance…. .tonight I started checking to find the true reason that one of our cats flips out like John Belushi used to with an 8-ball of coke every time I sprinkle a little catnip on the deck….. and as you do, I clicked, and clicked, and clicked….. and read, read, and read some more….. and in the end?.... it all comes down to pheromones…

….see, catnip messes with a kitty-cat’s olfactory epithelium… not, as you may have guessed instead, through their vomeronasal organ!!..... so, in short, they smell it and it works’em into a frenzy……. but I did click on vomeronasal organ’s entry, too…… and indeed, it is a “somewhat mysterious” organ according to Wikipedia…..

…. snakes use it to “smell” their prey by flicking their tongues to catch molecules and then brushing their tongues against the organ to “taste” where their dinner might be hiding…… Elephants who hold out their trunks and then dip it up and under and into their mouths?..... they’re doing pretty much the same type of thing as the snakes….. tasting the air for random molecules and then letting their organ do its thing……

…. Why do I bring this up after I have already been on a nasal/nostril related jag very recently?...... well, there was one particular paragraph that I found which just totally rocked my world….. here, check this out….

Anatomical studies demonstrate that in humans the vomeronasal organ regresses during fetal development, as is the case with some other mammals, including apes, cetaceans, and some bats. There is no evidence of a neural connection between the organ and the brain in adult humans. Nevertheless, a small pit may be found in the nasal septum of some people, and some researchers have argued that this pit represents a functional vomeronasal organ. Thus, its possible presence in adult humans remains controversial.

…. (Cetaceans are whales, by the way, just in case you were curious…. Yeah, I looked it up)…..

…. But really?.... just think of the implications to humanity… to us as an interacting, civilized & politically correct species…. that there are some folks out there who are on a whole new sensory level than the rest of humanity… and in particular, with their ability to sense and recognize pheromones… those little chemical signals that flag such primal reactions as sexual attraction, food, alarm, territorial boundaries, trails leading home, and a million other things…… it just boggles my mind that there might be humans who – unknowingly – can sense these things as well……

…. it’s like that scene in “Werewolf” where Jack Nicholson goes in into the bathroom and pisses on the guys shoes next to him once he catches a whiff….. taking “Alpha Male” to a whole new level, folks…. Wow… it just blows my mind that some humans might actually be able to subconsciously receive those tiny little details of life….. and what of Michelle Pfeiffer’s character?...... the mind truly boggles….

…. lookit, folks, we’re all animals, sure… and some of us are closer to being barbarians than others….. but having a gland in your head that is completely un-evolved purely to taste the pheromones in the air?..... that is just plain marvelous….

… then again, I might just be eaten up with jealousy….. because, well, I WANT one….

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