Costumes.....

..... well, I am happy to report that I survived DragonCon..... and that Elisson & Family were good enough to put The Missus and I up for the night & douse us with coffee the next morning so that we could RETURN for another afternoon of DragonCon......

.... I am now safely seated at my desk here in The Compound sorting through the vast array of wonderments that I beheld this weekend.... vampires, wookies, robots, witches, Catwoman, Batman, Robin, The Joker, The Penguin, Green Lantern, Superman, The Flash, Faeries, Trolls, Goblins, Sweeny Todds, Jack The Ripper, Sherlock Holmes, Dark Angel, Dawn, Lestat, Aliens, Predators, Thor, The Thing, Hellboy, Space Marines, Pod People, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Hermione, Harry Potter, Aquaman, Batgirl, Jessica Rabbit, The Incredible Hulk, Darth Vader (and all of the OTHER Darths), Princess Leia (as Jabba's slave girl & as the honeybunn'd version ala the original Lucas flick..), Spidermen (both red AND black), Jawas, Gandalfs, Frodos, Bilbos, and Nymphs.... Schoolgirls, Schoolmasters, and scantily clad ladies in bikinis with fox ears and tails....... oh, and about 600 mini-skirts with hose & heels (with AND without corsets)...... and yes, even a Zombie or two..... (which I managed to steer clear of entirely...)

.... all in all, the corsets were a huge surprise, I must admit..... as were the schoolgirl outfits..... I guess that we have The Japanese to thank for that addition.... this being a convention that includes Anime as a new-ish form of 'comic', schoolgirls did indeed abound........ but corsets?..... hey, who knew!?!?......

..... evidently The Missus and I just missed attending a seminar called "Corsets 101" by 45 minutes on Saturday....... but hey, the world is full of tragedy, you know?......

..... in other news, I was told that the gentleman who played "Sulu" on The Original 'Startrek' was a most gracious, generous, and involved signer of autographs....... indeed, I watched him engage his fans for a while.... and ole George is a class act.......

.... so, that's it...... I'm back... I survived the downtown Atlanta traffic (during roadwork), I survived traipsing up and down Baker Street in the August heat, and I survived taking photos of hundreds and hundreds of happy costume-wearing fans......

..... oh, and evidently we left on Saturday night just before the "Adult-themed" costumes started rolling in at the bar at the Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt Regency...... and from what I witnessed during the afternoon?.... it is a good thing that we left before the alcohol started flowing......

.... good grief, nothing would scar my fragile mind more than watching a scantily clad zombie-chick necking (literally) with a silken-chemise'd vampire chick while a room full of various OTHER undead beings sipped cosmos and cheered them on......

..... photographs to follow tomorrow....... I'm bone-tired and am in need of a libation....... but in the end?...... one helluva weekend....... even if I WAS the most out-of-place guy in downtown Atlanta all weekend......

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Life.....

.... you know, most of the time you can sit back, pour yourself a drink, prop your heels up, and just look out at Mother Nature and All of Her Wonders and be dazzled by the beauty of it all......

... majestic trees, cottony clouds, hopping bunnies, budding flowers, proud & ferocious predators..... they all work in concert to complete The Masterpiece.... glorious in diversity, amazing in complexity, and dizzying in their pure brilliance of design.......

.... and then when you least expect it, you run upon something like this in the archives of the Giant YouTube Monster....... and your mind wanders...... and you slowly begin to re-think that whole Divine Being thing....... your faith wavers.... you shake your head....... and the buzz is lost...... behold......

..... damnation, rubberneckers, did y'all see that?..... watch it again if you need to............. good god, it must truly suck to be a salmon.......

..... I mean, imagine struggling up stream for days and days - your body beginning to decay & die on the way - and that was how your life ended?......braving bears, fishermen, eagles, nets, and any number of other perils....... leaping, struggling, and swimming your hardest just to reach the place where you were born?..... up hill...... both ways?...... all for a jaw-gaping impromptu three-way in a pile of pebbles with a she-salmon that just happened to be hanging around looking "available"...... imagine waiting your whole LIFE for those three seconds......

.... I'm sorry... but sometimes Mother Nature is just fucked up.......

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Nerves....

...... my goodness... according to The Missus, I have some hunting to do..........

...... as dusk fell this evening - and she roused herself from the hammock - she called to me.......

... "what is that sound?", she asked........ "Coyotes", I answered.......... you could feel their little whips and yelps as they entered your ears......... hearing was not part of the process..... their calls vibrated within you......

..... so, yes....... I suppose that she is right.......and it is time, once again, for me to go forth and pop some doggies........

..... I will likely hunt tomorrow...... Saturday promises a trip to Atlanta and a visit to DragonCon (not my idea, by the way) to see the March Of The Klingons.......

..... and no, we're not dressing up as Klingons........ but yes...... tomorrow I shall venture out in search of predators......... just to calm Fred and Bob's nerves........ and mine........ besides, I feel the need to shoot something........ even if it is just a tiny little coyote........

.... Keesie can kiss my ass......

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Curtis.....

..... you know, there is just something deeply, deeply wrong with the movie "Some Like It Hot"...... as I type this, The Missus is completely engrossed in it while the lights flicker from approaching thunderstorms.........

... Monroe?..... she's a peach....... and she looks great in glasses (ala 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes')..... but be that as it may, nothing on Earth could ever make up for the trauma of seeing Mr. Lemmon prancing in drag and getting felt-up in an elevator by a horny octogenarian.......

...... I'm sorry, but that is just wrong...... and Tony Curtis?..... Tony should be absolutely fucking ashamed of himself...... sure, he did that whole "sometimes I like snails" thing in Spartacus while giving Laurence a sponge bath, but that just doesn't compare with sharing lipstick with Marilyn when she thinks you're a girl..........

... hey, call me a purist, but hey, that is just plain wrong........

.... Update..... good god, I just heard Curtis bat his eyelashes and yell "A'Hoy There!"....... damn, that is just wrong......

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Blues.....

..... pretty good for a blind man, eh?......

...... I am in awe..... and hell, Doc is from just across the mountain from here.........

..... and then, of course, there is this little one........

...... "got in a fight over Tennessee"........ damn, that is just inspiring.........

.... especially with the SEC games kicking off shortly......

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Tired......

.... yep, more YouTube......... but hey, it has been one of those kinds of afternoons......

..... sure, Branagh over-acted a bit, yeah..... but still, he had his heart in the right place........

.... actually, I feel more for the poor Herald........ what a shitty job, no?.......

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Burana.....

..... did you ever get one of those earworms where you don't even know the lyrics?....... or the lyrics are in a language that you don't even speak?...... them's the worst, I tell ya....... my torture today has been whistling and humming this little ditty as I've gone about my labors...... check it out.....

.... finally working up the courage a few minutes ago to find out exactly what I was humming, I happened upon these lyrics....... I knew it was from Carmen, but I never knew exactly what she was wiggling and prancing on about.......

.... so for a bit of an education, give these a read while the video plays.....

When will I love you?
Good lord, I don't know,
Maybe never, maybe tomorrow.
But not today, that's for sure.

Love is a rebellious bird
that nobody can tame,
and you call him quite in vain
if it suits him not to come.
Nothing helps, neither threat nor prayer.
One man talks well, the other keeps silent;
it's the other one that I prefer.
He never said anything, but I like his looks.
Love! Love! Love! Love!

Love is a Bohemian child,
it has never, ever, known law;
if you love me not, then I love you;
if I love you, you'd best beware! etc.
if you love me not,
if you love me not, then I love you;
but if I love you,
if I love you, you'd best beware!
if you love me not,
if you love me not, then I love you;
but if I love you,
if I love you, you'd best beware!

The bird you thought you had caught
beat its wings and flew away ...
love stays away, you wait and wait;
when least expected, there it is!
All around you, swift, so swift,
it comes, it goes, and then returns ...
you think you hold it fast, it flees
you think you're free, it holds you fast.
Love! Love! Love! Love!

Love is a Bohemian child,
it has never, ever, known law;
if you love me not, then I love you;
if I love you, you'd best beware!

..... mercy.....

.... could have been worse though, I guess.... I suppose that I could have been stuck whistling around with some of Orff's Carmina Burana instead of a saucy tune from Carmen....... Carmen, Carmina?..... preeeetty close there...... indeed, the Lord works in mysterious ways..... and seriously, Oh Fortuna would have kicked my ass...... see?...

O Fortune,
like the moon
you are constantly changing,
ever growing
and waning;
hateful life
now oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
poverty
and power
it melts them like ice.

Fate - monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
shadowed
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.

Fate, in health
and virtue,
is against me
driven on
and weighted down,
always enslaved.
So at this hour
without delay
pluck the vibrating strings;
since Fate
strikes down the strong man,
everyone weep with me!

.... good lord.... just reading that makes my hair hurt...... Carmen was a blessing, I think..... even though it drove me nuts all day long.....

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Damp....

.... as I wandered around the house checking the sprinklers this afternoon, I came upon an odd scene.... Fred - the grey cat, and Bob - the black one, were both crouched in their hunting positions at opposite sides of the sprinkler's arc.... I stood there for a minute and watched them..... their tails doing that little 1/2 inch twitch.... their ears canted towards the spitting sprinkler...... they were tuned, tightened, and poised to react in a split second.....

.... and then I saw the focus of their hunt.... a large male Yellowhammer was using the sprinkler to bathe himself....

.... he preened his feathers precisely with each pass of the sprinkler's jets..... completely oblivious to the fact that two fully grown housecats had him in their salivating sights, he was relaxed and enjoying his shower...... and then it hit me..... he was in the safest place in the world.....

..... sure, while those two devilish beasts would have loved nothing more than to dig their claws deep into his succulent flesh, tear his thrashing body to smithereens, and then feast on his bones, there was absolutely no way in hell that they were going to risk getting even the slightest bit damp in the process......

... it was time to shift the sprinklers anyway, so I gave the tap a few spins..... when the water stopped, the Yellowhammer zipped off into the underbrush and was gone...... Fred and Bob wandered over for a pat once the thrill was gone...... I guess that once the birdie flew away, I was next in line as "the most interesting thing in the garden"....... but no patting did they get......

..... looking down at Fred as I turned the water back on, I couldn't help thinking, "Fred, that was one smart bird...... oh, and Fred?.... there is a REASON that people refer to cats as 'pussies'"

.... those kitties are their Momma's boys...... they ain't no boys of mine, that's for sure......

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Bikes....

..... it is overcast, still, and humid here.... quiet..... the USA just got smashed by Cuba 10-2 in Olympic baseball...... The Missus is dozing in the hammock with a book on her chest..... and my house is absolutely filled with the smell of onions, garlic, parmesan, and Worcestershire sauce... I am roasting potatoes.......

... lamb on the grill is next.... with spoonfuls of mint sauce...... it is surprising how well lamb accompanies my 'interesting' roasted potatoes.......

.... so, that is my evening, rubberneckers..... standing in the garage manning the grill & nursing a gin and tonic while Townes Van Zandt works through the speakers of the CD player......

..... not a bad way to end a late-summer day, I guess...... hell, I can certainly think of worse things.......

.... and speaking of 'worse things', I now own a mountain bike..... yep, I sure do........ amazing, really..... hell, it is the first time that I have actually 'owned' a bicycle in at LEAST 24 years...... then again, perhaps using the word 'own' isn't a good way to start a relationship with an implement of torture exercise device......

.... lest the beast decide that she wants to own ME.....

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British......

...... I'm worn out..... absolutely and completely, worn out...... Hell's Half Acre has witnessed a flurry of activity today that it hadn't seen in at least the three months..... my goodness, what a day..... trees have been planted, sprinklers left to sprinkle, and seed has been scattered for the coming autumn...... lots and lots of seeds....... as for me, I need a nap....... but instead of napping, I found myself out on YouTube looking for old Tommy Cooper skits...

..... yeah, I know..... that is weird..... buy hey, welcome to my world........ and so now that I am off to cook dinner, I will leave you with a Cooper skit.... and two lovely Milligan examples....

.... first off, here's Tommy.......

... and here's a bit of ole Spike......

...... hey, what can I say?.... they certainly made ME laugh.......

..... anyhoo, I'm off to nibble shrimp and contemplate Great and Wonderful things until the Sun goes down....... so as Grandpa Walton said to Jeremiah Johnson on that snow-covered mountain peak back in 1972...... "I hope that you will..... fare well.."..... I'm off..... it is time to eat some shrimp.....

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floods.....

..... I'm sorry for all of those folks out in Texas this week who are getting flooded, but hey......

.. I suggest a motivated breast stroke..... or possibly a modified back stroke...... but, whatever you choose.... hey, this song still rocks..... so swim, folks...... and swim HARD........

.... SRV's memorial is in Austin... and it is well remembered.....

.... bloody hell... that is artistry....

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Relays......

..... it seems that every year I end up with a fine Green and Yellow Garden Spider somewhere around the house......... and while I am not a huge fan of spiders, they're quite beautiful, really..... and, as spiders go, quite large...... hard to miss, as a matter of fact....... even to the most casual of observers.....

.....four years ago she was lolling in the rose bush next to the front door..... three years ago, one of her offspring had decided to move a tiny bit northwest..... and she anchored her nest to my air-conditioning unit.....

..... two years ago found the largest specimen (seen so far) making a living on the eastern side of the house at the grape vine..... and this year, well, a Southern Move has been made..... and a large female is currently camping in the honeysuckle vine that is climbing on the railings of my deck.......

... I suspect that next year will see the completion of the arachnid circumnavigation of my house..... and will have only taken five years!........

.... it is seems so odd to me that, looking back now, I have mentioned seeing that species of spider in my back yard nearly every year that I've had this blog........

.... I think that next spring I'll place one of those "fly lures" - that you can buy at Lowes - really close to next year's web......

..... it'd be the least that I could do to celebrate such an amazing adventure...... right?......

..... since the Olympics have been on for the past two weeks, I can't help but imagine what I saw today as some sort of weird Spider version of one helluva long relay race...... but with the 'baton" being handed to a generation instead of another sprinter......... The Great Circumnavigation of The Compound..... gold medalist, Agriope Aurantia!.........

..... then again, perhaps I should just whistle the Olympic theme, channel my inner Chinese judge, and go out and squish her tomorrow in favor of The Home Team.... after all, her neighbor IS a Black Widow...... see?.....

..... nah........ I guess not...... in the end, I am not the kind of guy who wants to be mean......... and hell, I guess that my back yard has room enough for everyone...... after all, we live in tolerance, right?.....

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Okay.....

.... since I spent the better part of this evening picking okra with my Sainted Mother, I feel a great need to get back to my 'roots', so to speak....... and well, nothing really gets to the core of my soul like this cover version of an old C.W. McCall song....... and yes, there are times when I still randomly sing it whilst absentmindedly fiddling with something........ I've always been cursed blessed with a gift for memorization........

....but, wow...... isn't music just great?...

.... and by the way..... this live song is pretty damn awesome as well....... it ranks right up there with Bobby's rendition of "Dropkick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)"......

... both of them are nail-biters, folks....... trust me....

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Root Beer......

.... conversation today turned slightly odd as The Missus and I headed towards the movie theatre for the Sunday matinee.....

.... we'd been running a bit behind, so I pit-stopped at the Wendy's in Athens just before climbing up onto I-75 to allow for her to procure a cheeseburger.... (I had already breakfasted late courtesy of the Hardee's in Etowah.... so I wasn't yet ready for lunch.)....

... in the course of events, I ordered a drink only..... a Barq's root beer..... and this is where things began to get odd.....

.... normally I shy away from fizzy drinks..... but today, for reasons known only to Great Jeebus himself, I ordered a root beer.....

.... it didn't completely agree with me.... and I ended up burping all the way to the theatre.... but it did bring up two curious words during the drive.... Sarsaparilla and Sassafras..... I mean, honestly, how often do those two words come up in conversation?....

.... so we paused our conversation while we sat through the movie..... and then began again once we'd dropped the top on Sylvia and started the drive back home........

...... the end result?....... that scene in 'Little Big Man' where he is reminiscing about the elephant head spigot that dispensed sarsaparillas......

.... unfortunately, I was unable to find that particular scene on youtube this evening....... but I DID find this little tidbit that just absolutely cheers my soul........ sure, it has nothing to do with spigots, per se, but one does have an imagination..... so the word of the evening, gentle hammerheads, is sassafras........ behold....

...... I swear..... that is one helluva movie........

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Rut......

.... damn, I am tired....... and I need an extended nap........ my bones ache..... and I just want to go to sleep.......

..... the good news is that bedtime will be here soon........ the bad news?...... my nostrils are clogged with an epic sludge that has seldom ever been seen in our civilized, drug-encrusted times...... hell, I doubt that Herodotus ever scribbled about such an ooze in all his years of writing........

.... but the fact remains......... yes, yes, I am not a good sick person........ no, sir.......

.... for the love of God, I hate being sick....... and it doesn't help that every runner, swimmer, volleyball player, horse-rider, gymnast, basketball thug, skeet shooter, weightlifter, archer, rower, baseball player, tennisist, and badminton geek is jumping, riding, sliding, throwing, rowing, slamming, spinning, and heaving to the tune of a billion bacterium coagulating in my nose.....

..... in truth, that just pisses me off..... the first 9 days of watching the Olympics have been great, sure..... but tonight, I'm sorry...... the last thing that I want to see is an athlete with his or her nostrils flared in a Gold Medal frenzy....... fuck a bunch of flared nostrils........ whatever happened to The Chinese Flu?........ they ARE in CHINA, aren't they??......

..... the worse news?.... this means that I will snore like a rutting rhinoceros tonight..... and while a rutting rhino might be quite happy with his situation - being in rut, and all - I most certainly ain't.......

.... snoring means less sleep.... and less sleep means an early morning...... and an early morning means that I will continue this damnable vicious cycle of being tired for the foreseeable future........

..... athletes?........ I love them..... and I admire what they do........ but sometimes?...... they can just kiss my ass......

.... lookit..... the next time that I walk through the living room and see a flexed nostril, a heaving breast, and a wide-eyed runner, well, I'm going to lose my fucking mind....

...... they are great, sure........ but just a little bit, don't they piss you off too?.......

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Autumn....

..... my goodness, what a day...... hours of honest toil on Hell's Half acre produced a fairly substantial - yet patchy - sheen of perspiration just above my left eyebrow..... and the backyard is beginning to shape up.....

.... Autumn may not be here yet, but she's already started the drive.... oh yeah....

.... anyway, after scrubbing up & knifing the soil out from under my fingernails, I settled on the deck for a bit...... and while cooling myself, I remembered a bit of my Yeats..... partly because a gaggle of geese flew over while I was contemplating heading in for a gin and tonic..... and partly because I had watched the video of Jerry's Dad the other day.......

..... in any case, parts of this poem popped into my mind as the geese honked by this afternoon...... here you go....

The Wild Swans at Coole, by William Butler Yeats

THE TREES are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.


I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
Alls changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.


Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.


But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lakes edge or pool
Delight mens eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

..... Autumn is often viewed symbolically as death or old age...... many poets have done just what Yeats did...... but I don't agree completely.......

.... I think that Autumn is the perfect season...... with Spring as a close tie......

..... see, I imagine Autumn as that moment when the air starts to get crisp and you bury yourself just that little bit deeper into your flannel sheets before falling asleep..... finding the perfect comfort & temperature for your nap...... and then, of course, Winter is The Sleep...... and with Spring, the world wakes up again.... only to dream again of a relaxing Autumn after a fierce Summer of exertion.....

.... but thinking of it as death or old age?.... that just seems wrong to me.......

.....but hey, the geese DID fly overhead today...... I suspect that they're all headed south in search of an avian version of flannel sheets......

.... and Jerry?..... thanks for the video of your Father...... there was a lot of humanity displayed in that short video clip if you look for it...... we should all be so lucky as your Father.....

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Smooth....

.... enjoy this fine, fine tune, folks..... as for me, I'm off to man the grill and try to coax a few Butch Thompson ragtime numbers into scrubbing this earworm out from under my sweaty brow......

..... 'tis just a grilling kind of evening.....

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Twins?.....

..... when taking the time to closely survey my vast array of cooking skills today, I realized that I am not exactly the most deft person on the planet when it comes to cracking eggs..... sure, I can do it...... who can't?..... but it is definitely not a thing of grace & beauty like you see when some cooking show is on.....

.... quite frankly, I think that my egg-cracking problem is two-fold.... on the one hand I always imagine that I'm going to crack the egg too hard and end up with a handful of gooey egg...... this invariably leads to me standing at the hob in the kitchen and tapping, checking, tapping, and checking until the calcium finally succumbs..... it's not a pretty sight at all, and yes, I am quite ashamed......

.... secondly, well, I've just not cracked that many eggs in my short lifetime to get sufficiently good at it.... hey, it's an honest skill to acquire.... and since I'm not a huge baker of cakes, whipper of meringues, or much of a breakfast eater, well, eggs and I haven't had much time to grow on each other...... thusly, I am in no way, shape, or form any kind of egg expert.....

.... having said that, remember me talking about that tuna sandwich a few days ago?.... the one where the first part of the recipe called for four boiled eggs?..... well, check this out...... behold the last egg that I peeled and halved.....

mutant_egg_small.jpg

..... that's right, folks...... an egg with two yolks...... ever seen one of those bad boys before??...... well, me neither until just two days ago......

.... I reckon it just goes to prove - yet again - that I am truly surrounded by mutants here at The Compound...... and like I said, I'm no expert, but you do have to admit that that was one extremely weird chicken egg.....

..... and yes, I ate it.... not the yolks, though..... they creeped me out too much.....

... honestly, you can't make this shit up.....

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...photos.....

.... you know, I've been at this blogging business a long, long time..... hell, it'll have been five years when September 10th rolls around this year...... and I can honestly say that I have done my fair share of photoshopping some of my fellow bloggers... and in turn, I have been photoshopped quite a few times myself.........hey, it's all in good fun.....

..... but one never knows where the mind of Oom Keesie is going to wander when it comes photoshopping...... he of crocodile manglings and lion maraudings...... I mean, how on earth could someone take this photo of me as a spry 19-year old Lance Corporal (taken from this post, incidentally), and morph it into the lewd, crude, and absolutely rude photoshop'd version here?.......

.. good grief, folks..... and me with my War Happy Face on!?...... I swear.....

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Sandwiches.....

..... want to taste something yummy?..... well, here you go....

....boil four large Grade A chicken eggs.... once boiled (and allowed to cool), cut in half.... remove the yolks, and dice the remaining whites into tiny chunks.... drop those babies in a medium sized bowl, sprinkle with a teaspoon of sea salt and a teaspoon of ground black pepper...... and give them a nice, long, loving stir....

... add a teaspoon of Gulden's spicy brown mustard and stir.... then stir some more....

.... add two tablespoons of Mt. Olive sweet relish..... then go ahead and give it a bit of a stir....

..... add 3/4 cup of Hellmann's light mayo and stir it up....

.... drain two tins of StarKist chunk light tuna.... add the contents of one tin to the bowl and stir, stir, stir.......

.... once that mess is all sorted out (by stirring, of course), add the second can of tuna.... and stir some more........

.... and as if by magic, my gentle stirrers, there clumped in a medium sized bowl right in front of you is my Dad's Recipe for a Kickass Tuna Salad.....

.... be sure to give it a good stir before you slather it all over a warm piece of toast.....

.....if made properly, your right arm should be getting a bit stiff from all the stirring by now...... so not only is this one tasty recipe.... but if you make it once or twice a week, you'll have a right-hook like Sonny Liston in practically no time at all.....

..... oh, and don't skimp on the sweet relish either..... that is the secret ingredient..... happy lunching, hammerheads!....

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Hooks....

...... I have a question, folks.... and since I am much too lazy to research, The Missus suggested that I beg the task off onto all of y'all......

..... see, I dated a gymnast once........ and while our conversations were many and varied, I never happened to ask her what kept her fingers from exploding when she was on the uneven bars........

..... sure, it never really came up in pleasant conversation, but it has here..... now, as a matter of fact....... me?... I subscribe to the fact that the human hand cannot deal with the strain unassisted...... all the while my fellow TV watcher seems to think that these young munchkins have supernatural grip-strength akin to Popeye without the bulging forearms.......

.... but I am unmoved by her argument........

....see, in my world - gymnast or not - no one can swing themselves around in circles like that unaided....... it is one thing to go bouncing merrily along flipping, tumbling, and spinning on the mat.... but once you take to the air, something is definitely rotten in Denmark.......... the proverbial jig is UP..... literally.....

..... so, what gives?..... do we have a gymnast in the house?...... anyone with an answer?...... can anyone shed any light on how the hell those dulcet little darlings hold their grips so well AND keep from spinning off into outer space when they reach the top of their spin?......

.... me, I'm betting that they have little hooks strapped to their wrists......... but hey, I have been wrong before....... so, any ideas?...... my kingdom for a gymnast!..... (just to answer questions, obviously)......

... oh, and before I forget...... I watched a Brit boxer take out his opponent in the middle of the first round today with a bodyshot........ cracked that guy right at the bottom of his ribcage with a savage left-hook...... dropped him like a bad habit, folks....... it was awesome...... absolutely awesome....... I mean, how many fights do you ever see stopped by a TKO from a bodyshot?.......

.... good god, I love watching the Olympics.....

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Dumb.....

..... there are tragedies in life, I suppose..... some are small and only effect us for a day..... others, the loss of a loved one, etc, well, they can brand us for the rest of our lives..... but in each day, there are joys, successes, failures, tragedies, and blessings...... as John Prine once said, "that's the way the World goes 'round'"..... and he was most certainly right......

.... this evening for instance, as I write this, a male Ruby-throated hummingbird is dozing on a perch in my garage..... his "perch" is actually one of the synthetic lines that I hung between two pulleys and a centrally located counterbalance ala The Old Billiard Halls of Yore..... it is quite an interesting design, actually..... you have two points & pulleys connected to your ceiling (measured to allow that each point is directly above each end of your billiards table), and one point - dead center - with a weight attached to the line....... thus pulling the brass chalk-holders far above the players head until he wishes to chalk his cue...... when, of course, he (or she) merely reaches upwards, grasps the holder, and draws the chalk downwards....... upon release, the chalk disappears out of sight thanks to the counterweight........

...... but anyway, yes.... there is a lonely (and very, very tired) male hummingbird currently perching on the synthetic line above my pool table........

..... it is quite horrible, actually...... as he'll likely be dead by morning........

..... I've watched him as he has courted, mated, zipped, flew, bred, fed, and sped in my front yard for the past four weeks...... and he really is quite a handsome fellow...... sure, he doesn't take care of his children, he bears no burden in their upbringing...... hell, he doesn't even help with nest preparation or maintenance...... his Missus does all of that, don't you know...... but still, he IS a handsome fellow......I guess that goes a long way in non-human relationships.......

... but now?...... I fear that his tiny brain has reached a precipice..... and handsome or not, his inability to fly out of my WIDE OPEN garage door has sealed his fate.....

..... hey, after watching his acrobatics for so many weeks, I had imagined that he was just about capable of anything just as long as it involved sugar water or poontang..... but having spent the better part of four hours attempting to shoo him out of a 20X20 garage to no avail, I believe that the female Ruby-throated hummingbirds are probably completely justified in keeping his dumb ass out of the whole "raising a family" scenario...... for he is, quite literally, an absolute idiot.....

.... oooh, wait..... I just walked through and freshened my drink.... and yep, he is still sitting in the garage being closely inspected by two very anxious cats....... he's a goner for sure.....

..... you know, I do wish him all the best as I prepare to turn in for the night & watch the Olympics until I drift off to sleep....... I truly do...

...... I do hope that he manages to somehow see the GAPING HOLE that is RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM and fly to freedom (and Central America once autumn returns)......... but I just don't think that is going to happen..... he's just too shortsighted....... and really?.... well, he isn't that smart.......

..... but on the other hand, a part of me can't help but sit here and think, "you deserve it, you dumb bastard.... the chick that you knocked up is sitting out there under the stars wondering if that magical beaker full of sweetened water is going to be topped up in the morning, if her children are going to survive, and if she'll be able to sneak a few sips tomorrow while you aren't guarding the 'food source'...with her young wiggling beneath her wings tonight, you absolutely deserve to be slowly tiring yourself into kitty chow..."......

... but hey, that is life, right?....... I've always been a fan of hummingbirds..... and I have fed them every Summer when they have finished their migration....

.... but tonight?.... in my garage?....... goddamn, folks... that is one stupid fucking bird...... and not just because it can't figure out how to fly from my garage..... but on lots and LOTS of levels........

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October.....

...... I watched an interesting movie today.... it was intriguingly entitled "When Nietzsche Wept"...... if you haven't seen it (or even heard of it), I highly recommend a viewing at your leisure..... HBO is showing it this month, I guess........

... and while I am no great scholar, it was still quite entertaining and eye-opening.... but it did freak me out just a bit....... good lord, I'd certainly hate to have Nietzsche as MY therapist.... AND to have him so deeply buried inside my mind as he was in his Doctor's mind in the movie?.... no, it would drive me mad.....

.... but it HAS borne a great wave of reading today...... so that has been fun....... the subject?..... of course, Friedrich Nietzsche.......

..... hey, it was interesting - at least - to find that he was a fellow Libran.... born just one day after myself - minus 128 years...... October 14, 1972 for me... and October 15, 1844 for him.......

..... I was reminded while researching of an old tee-shirt that I used to own..... it said something like:

To be is to do.... Socrates

To do is to be....Sartre

Do Be Do Be Do... Sinatra

...... but Nietzsche?...... my goodness....... while I admire many of his essays that I have read today, I can't quit thinking about an old bit of graffiti art that I saw in a pubescently acquired issue of Hustler way, way back in the day.....

God is dead.... Nietzsche

Nietzsche is dead..... God

....... see?.....

...... wow, I suspect that - even as much as I loathe them at times - I am much more of a Thoreau & Emerson kinda guy...... at least when it comes to philosophy....

.... still, though, Libras are one helluva weird bunch........ in the end, we just can't help it....... it's an October thing...... y'all just wouldn't understand.....

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Bingo.....

...... you know, I do so love me a good story..... especially when it involves Southern Grannies, loyal Southern Grandsons riddled with guilt & angst, Bingo, and happy, happy endings......

..... and just where might one find such a dizzying combination whilst surfing through blogdom?...... well, at The Bitterman's Place, of course......

.... so go now, and enjoy...... his Granny sounds a LOT like MY Granny......

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Writing......

..... my goodness......

...... browsing through my library today I stumbled upon this little gem....... check it out..... and yes, read slowly....... it was meant to be read slowly.......

Nuptial Sleep by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

At length their long kiss severed, with sweet smart:
And as the last slow sudden drops are shed
From sparkling eaves when all the storm has fled,
So singly flagged the pulses of each heart.
Their bosoms sundered, with the opening start
Of married flowers to either side outspread
From the knit stem; yet still their mouths, burnt red,
Fawned on each other where they lay apart.

Sleep sank them lower than the tide of dreams,
And their dreams watched them sink, and slid away.
Slowly their souls swam up again, through gleams
Of watered light and dull drowned waifs of day;
Till from some wonder of new woods and streams
He woke, and wondered more: for there she lay.

..... absolutely remarkable, if you ask me...... absolutely.....

..... but the real kicker?...... he buried this (and many of his other unpublished works) with his wife when she died....... when she died, His Love died..... and he interred the poems that he'd written for her with her corpse....... but years later he dug them up so that they could be published........

.... reading this stuff now?.... I'm torn..... while his poems are irreplaceable, I still imagine that the idea he first had of burying them with his dead wife was probably spot on..... after all, they were written FOR her and ABOUT her...... and letting her "take them with her" was probably deeply imbedded in his psyche....... and I get that.... I do.......

..... but now?..... we read compilations of his poems..... we sigh.... we rub our foreheads..... we might smile..... and then we turn the page....

...... but what is better?.... that we read of Love, Life, and Lust long ago lost?....... or that we merely read a few rhyming lines about a Love that we never knew - about a Life we never knew - and take it out of context?.....

...... Rossetti kicks ass...... but he made a mistake, I think...... he never should have dug up those poems......

.... once he buried them, they were meant to be hers for eternity...... but he changed his mind........

..... see, we read them now, and we can't grasp, truly, from where he was coming from........ there is a relationship there that is transparent for us....... we just don't get it......

..... am I glad to read them?.... of course....... but think on it for a minute or two...... what is more important in the long run?..... that you know that you poured out your heart to your Great Love and then sent every word that you ever wrote to her/for her to her grave with her?..... or is it better to share your artistic outpourings with strangers and critics long after your love is dead?........

.... I think Mr. Rossetti made a bad, bad move.......and that he should have left his writings where they lay and found a new muse...

.... but hey, that's just me.... then again, perhaps Rossetti is like a lot of us bloggers...... what is the point in creating beautiful things - regardless of the object - if you are going to bury it in the ground so that no one ever sees it?......

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Guests.....

..... you know, I'm a fairly affable fellow.... indeed, I've even been told that were I any more laid back, I'd probably be in a coma........

.... but having said that?.... well, afternoon visitors are always welcome around here..... I'm just a welcoming kind of guy.....

.... my pool table is always just minutes from being ready.... I have a fairly well-stocked liquor cabinet and bar..... I have checkers, chess, and Scrabble.... Trivial Pursuit..... I have a fairly large library if you're in the mood to read...... and there is usually something in the fridge that one can fashion a sandwich out of if I'm pressed for grub...... really, I'm pretty flexible.....

... so in short, drop on by any time.... we can usually cater for you - regardless of your needs - as you pause along The Great Trail of Life..... it may not be fancy, but there will plenty of it, and it'll likely be hot.... or cold when cold is necessary.......

.... today's visitors though, they were unexpected...... and now that they've scampered away, I'm kinda glad that they didn't turn the corner and ask to shoot a game of pool in the garage..... not that I felt particularly unfriendly this afternoon, oh no!.... it's just that I don't think that I own a cue that would have worked very well for them......

.... never underestimate the importance of opposable thumbs, ladies and gentlemen...... but I digress.... behold a young Miss and her child that strolled past my open garage door today whilst admiring their reflection on Sylvia's Sweet Side.....

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.... as usual, feel free to click the image for a closer look.....

.... my goodness....... every day.... and in every way..... the jungle encroaches, folks......

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Odd....

.... good morning, fellow travelers...... I hope that all of you are well and fine...... as for me, I'm just great..... with the exception of having had the same earworm for the past 16 hours courtesy of some BBC television show, that is...... and since I hate to be tortured alone, I shall share.....

... so here you go..... y'all can thank me later.....

..... I think I'll stay right here......

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test

.... test...... the blog is acting weird....... well, weirder than usual.....

.... for anyone else having blogwoes, Joan has the scoop...... good luck, ladies and gentlemen.....

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