Horror......

.... you know, I've never been a fan of horror movies, and I still am'nt, if the truth be told......... in fact, I have loathed them since my earliest childhood...... my Father used to come home on weekends and let me stay up late to watch a show hosted by Dr. Shock & Dingbat - and I suppose that they are truly to blame for my phobias....... but damn, God bless'im, he was just trying to do that whole "bonding" thing with his first-born, so I guess it is just one of those things that you have to live with......

.... I remember him taking leave of me on the couch after everyone had gone to bed one time...... he'd went off to bathe, and left the five-year-old me scrunched up on the couch watching "Jaws" alone......

.... remember that bit where the diver turned over that sunken boat and that severed head drifted up towards the divers face?........ well, I'll never forget the sight of my naked, dripping-wet Father as he came sliding across the wood floor (after having just jumped out of a perfectly good tub of bathwater) to come save me from the harm that the villains he'd just imagined had burst through the front door and were exercising on his Eldest as I screamed bloody murder........

.... ahhhh.... The Joys of Youth, no?.......

..... and while I'm at it, I also remember that dire David Soul vehicle "Salem's Lot" from the early 80's...... remember when he walked into that room and that vampire/possessed guy was stuck to the wall?....... good god, that gave me the heebie jeebies back then.....

..... oh, and remember when "Pet Cemetery" came out in the early 1990's?....... good god, I was home on leave from the Marine Corps when a friend of mine forced me to watch that flick....... that old woman with the gnarly spinal column still freaks me out...... and that little un-dead toddler with the scalpel who slashed the sheriff's Achilles tendon as he got out of bed?.......... I swear, it has taken nearly fifteen years for me to get over casually dangling my legs over the edge of any bed without remembering that scene of bloodcurdling screams, slashings, and general mayhem........

..... but yesterday?....... I dove off the Deep End of Desensitizing, and watched the latest "Dawn of The Dead" from start to finish...... and today?...... I suffered through THREE recorded episodes of "A Haunting" from the Discovery Channel, "30 Days of Night", AND a cheesy 1950s alien flick with Tom Tryon where he was a kind of "bodysnatching" alien who had taken over the body of some guy and truly enjoyed banging his "new" wife........

....... well, in case you haven't seen it, just trust me...... the World is full of strange and scary shit, folks....

.... but by God, if I'm going to be frightened of something, it's going to be something that I CAN actually shoot at until I run out of bullets........

... and this Zombie/horror movie thing has just Got To Go........ one way Or the other........

.... I'm tired of being scared of things that writers and film makers dream up without my permission..........

...... so from now on out, I'm only going to be afraid of everything that I watch on The News........

... that should make everything better, right?......

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.... Pissed......

..... that egg-headed Fred Astaire is singing through from the front room as I type this here in the blogroom......."tell me you agree!", he says..... "tell me that it's true!", he warbles.......

...... oh, wait........ yes...... good grief, his song is finally over...... and the only consolation?..... well, at least he is singing to Rita Hayworth tonight instead of Ginger Rogers.... and hey, that is at least something.....

...but really?...... it all harks back to that scene (somehow) in "The Shawshank Redemption"...... and how that poster of Rita held his character through so many years before Marilyn and Racquel came along.......

.....and yet, as I sit here, what do I hear?...... "sure, she's pretty enough.... but she has a personality like the inside of a refrigerator!"..... Jesus Christ, what kind of dialogue is that??...... Fred should have taken one look at that script and said, "you know what, boys, I just can't say that..... I mean, look at her!....... men all over The World are going to call bullshit on this!"....... but, alas, he didnt....... and he actually uttered those words as poor Rita fumed.........

...... good god, what a maroon......... maybe if he'd haved stopped singing , dancing, and twirling about and asked her about those Irish tresses of hers, he'd see a different side of her?......... good lord, who knows..... one thing that it DID remind me of?... "Hard-hearted Hannah"......

.... here's the proof......... check it out..... from the "Temperance 7", no less......

.... what a night.....

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Cooking....

..... good afternoon, campers...... I'm off to whip up some some grub.....

.... but I'll leave you with the View From The Garage & a song as inspirational materials for your own evenings.....

spring_small.jpg

... dogwoods budding, and the Sun breaking through the clouds....... not a bad way to end a day, I suppose......

.... and for your listening enjoyment, a little Nina...... just, well, because.....

.... and with that, folks, I'm off..... the guests will be here in an hour.....

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Cars.....

.... sitting here with my Sekhemet & Horus votives staring me down tonight (not to mention the foot-long Gila Monster who lives atop my computer monitor), I've got nothing to write about..... and those three sets of little beady eyes are making me quite nervous about it all....

.... that said, however, I did find this a few minutes ago, and it definitely needs to be shared...... behold, rubberneckers...... a very interesting Work of Art....

.... notice that sticker on his guitar half way through?...... as best I could tell, it read - "This machine KILLS FASCISTS"

...... gee..... I wonder how?....... does it make them gouge their brains out through their nose with knitting needles?.....

... oh, and speaking of "taking you riding in my car", the lease on Sylvia is nearly up...... so, should I keep her, or trade her in for the 2009 model?..... August will be here before you know it, folks.... and God knows I suck at making up my mind on such things.......

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Socks.....

..... if today had been a sock, I'd not bother washing it..... or even remotely placing it near a hamper for a sometime-in-the-future washing.....

.... no, boys & girls.... if today were a sock?....... I'd soak it in Ronsonol lighter fluid, place it perfectly in the fire-pit out back, stand back, and toss lit matches at it until it flamed itself into nothingness........ and then wash, re-wash, and re-wash its mate until it natted itself into giant ball of unusable white lint.......

.... but alas, today may have been like a sock in need of a lighter fluid bath....... but it actually was not a sock....... just another day.....

... and one that is, thankfully, over now......

.... Forrest Gump was full of shit with that whole "box of chocolates" analogy.... although I know that his Momma did have her heart in the right place when she told him about it....

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Cosmetics......

... today dawned rainy and warm, and I wandered into town this afternoon for my tri-weekly three dollar haircut after half a gallon of coffee courtesy of the new Tassimo....... and I must say that I left her dilapidated shop completely satisfied with the result of her ministrations......

..... sure, it's not rocket science, I suppose, cutting my hair...... I guess it's pretty easy for someone to fade a graying redhead from zero to 1.5 after forty years in the hair-cutting business....... but still?..... if you look deeply enough into the right nooks and crannies these days, you can still get your money's worth for three bucks......

.... although, it does irk me a bit to know that I can get a satisfactory haircut more cheaply than I can a plate of biscuits, bacon, eggs, and sausage gravy for breakfast around here......

.... there's just something not right about that, if you ask me.....

.... on the up-side?..... I arrived at the allotted time for my appointment, but was kept at bay by my old third grade teacher..... she was ensconced in the chair having her curls straightened, so I sat and waited..... and it wasn't long before she struck a conversation about why I was so pale, why my hair was graying so early (hers was still jet-black), and why my Pharmacist Wife wasn't being more supportive to her daughter (a pharmacist rep)......

.... it all turned out well in the end, though, and she spent the entirety of MY haircut standing within clipper-shrapnel distance asking me about where I had been, what I had done, and who I had met since third grade....... I guess she was curious.... but you know, I have been a LOT of places since third grade........ anyway, she left smiling, shocked, flabbergasted, and anxious..... so I guess that I told my tale As Advertised......

..... oh!.... heard from the Brother-in-Law the other day...... he's fresh back to Dhaka from another extended stray out in the Bandarbans near Chittagong....... his hotel in the Sundarbans should be habitable in the next few weeks....... so if any of you hammerheads wish to travel to an off-the-beaten-path luxury bungalow in the middle of a tiger infested mangrove swamp, just drop me an email...... I'll give you his Twitter address, cell phone, and yahoo IM handle.... and y'all can hook up......

.... so, yeah...... I got a well-needed haircut today....... what were you guys up to?.....

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.... Song....

..... today's little earworm has been with me since daybreak......... and I do love it so........ fast forward to about the 3 minute mark if you want you to get to the singing...... otherwise, just listen to the whole thing...... it's probably worth your time....

....... to live is to fly........ I just love that........

.... right.down.to.the.ground.......

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Sylph.....

.... a few days ago - over a fiercely competitive game of Scrabble - the Missus hit me with a whopper of a word.... and since I'm not in the mood for writing this evening, I'll just throw it out there for y'all to chew on tonight as you go about your business.....

.... the word she used?...... Sylph, ladies & gentlemen..... and I just thought that was simply marvelous..... the conversation went a bit like this, as best I can recall....

Me: ..... holyshit!.... sylph!...
Her: It means "thin".
Me: .... oh!... I know what it means!.... but holyshit!... SYLPH!...
Her: Just count the points, please.
Me: ..... damn, that is an outstanding word....
Her:
Me: .... so, I know the meaning of the word..... but look at it.... I wonder if it's root has anything to do with "nymph".... I wonder if sylphs used to frolic around in the woods with nymphs back in old Greeken times.....
Her: "Greeken" isn't a word.
Me: ..... yeah.... but it should be.... "Grecian" just sounds too...... hairy...!....
Her: Good grief. I need a cup of tea.

... so, anyway, GUESS WHAT?!??..... sylphs didn't actually frolic through the old Greeken woods with nymphs!!..... at least not according to ole Paracelsus..... but that's only because the Greeks hadn't thought them up yet!.... nymphs & sylphs are definitely cut from the same proverbial cloth......

.... so, yeah...... sylphs..... there you go, and hey, now you know!..... I'm off to mix a drink.....

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Dinner....

.... off soon to throw some sirloins on the grill & stand around in the garage listening to Townes Van Zandt and Billy Joel...... today has been absolutely amazing here.....

.... my Sainted Mother is arriving for dinner at 7, and it should be a nice bookend to a day spent well....

.... 11 months ago I put this little thing up on YouTube..... this evening promises to be much the same......

.... so, Brothers & Sisters, y'all have fun this evening..... I'm certainly going to give it one helluva attempt......

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Pests.....

.... mackerel, boys and girlies..... it's what's for dinner..... and as I mentioned a while back, it's not exactly one of my top-shelf favorites... however, it is good for my ticker AND my bacon laced arteries, so I shall soldier it down like a good boy.....

.... in other news, I see that Tennessee has dropped the ball in the NCAA b-ball tournament today..... ahhh, they did well to get so far.... probably from eating bucket loads of mackerel and exercising a lot....

..... anyway, I spent most of the morning at Lowes buying various pesticides, herbicides, brush-killers, turf-protectors, and most anything else "offensive undesirables" that I could lay my hands on..... so if tomorrow dawns as beautiful as today has been, I shall lay low many, many hapless creatures....

... and if all goes according to plan, I will stand astride my patio tomorrow evening like that mighty Colossus that you hear about from time to time on the History Channel..... then again, I might limp back in from Hell's Half-acre tomorrow covered in poison ivy welts, ant bite pustules, and throbbing yellow-jacket stings.....

... you just never know around here, folks.... every day is a Toss-up For Victory in varying degrees when battling Nature is involved...

... one thing is for sure, though..... at least it isn't hot enough yet for me to worry about sunburn.....

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Frogs......

..... after a looooong night of rewatching "True Grit" for the thirtieth time last night, The Missus woke up in an absolute whirlwind of motion this morning.......

.... once I calmed her down (and after I thoroughly thrashed her at a game of Scrabble-over-Breakfast), she definitely needed to burn off some energy, so she decided that it was necessary for us to digest our buttered toast & pate while circumnavigating Eagle Glen afoot.....

.... I was dubious at first..... but eventually I grudgingly laid my plans aside and headed out with her for a walk......

.... at first, everything was peaches and cream.... (figuratively, of course, not literally - since we were walking, sweating, and generally exercising at the time).... but then the puddles we passed began yielding hundreds - or thousands - of tadpoles......

.... and they scurried here and there as we plodded past...... causing the very surface of many of the puddles to resemble those horrible Discovery Channel clips where the Great White leaps from the air after having mistakenly tried to bite a bit of seal-shaped carpet that was being dragged behind a boat by busy-body researchers.....

.... the horrible thing about the whole incident?...... just LAST WEEK one of those puddles was absolutely teeming with tiny little fish fry...... and today?..... nothing but churned up tadpole turds, murky water, and the large, bulbous, fleshy bodies of half-grown froglets wiggling to hide under sunken leaves that were half their size........ wha??..... what happened to the cute, baby fishies?!?......

..... tadpole dung, that's what......

.... I swear, it was a depressing scene....... almost enough to make me fashion myself a gig, and don my Petzl head lamp in a few months to harvest a few of those jumpy little creatures for the skillet.....

.... almost, that is..... but not quite enough....

... hell, I've seen where those slimy little bastards have grown up....... and that there is enough to quell the appetite of even the mightiest of carnivores.......

.. but still, they DO deserve some sort of karmic payback for having descended on those poor minnows with such a gnashful vengeance.... I mean, why can't we all just get along?!?........

...... however, I will say that all was not completely lost..... after today's day of sunshine?...... both the peach tree AND the teacup magnolia are in full bloom....... and they are stunning to see......

..... but I did imagine - as I made the last few strides up my driveway - that in some small, tiny way, those trees were not merely blaring & advertising to the world that they were ready to be bred as this Springtime rushes in on us........ but that they were somehow offering a little something up In Memoriam to those poor departed fishies.......

..... I suddenly found myself quite hungry for fishsticks, though, and scratched that itch as best I could once I was back inside the house.......

..... it certainly is true, though, you know?......The Lord surly surely works in mysterious ways, boys & girls........

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Irish.....

... happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone....... I trust that each of you is celebrating this auspicious day in your own distinct fashion this evening....... and knowing this crowd, you're likely attempting to drown each other in puddles of stale Guinness that accidentally found their way to low spots in the faux tiles in the kitchen........ or is it Bushmills in the throw-rug outside the spare bathroom?.......... hey, it's a toss up, if I know you guys.....

.... as for me, the only green thing that I've "worn" today was while I was eating dinner..... it seems that a stray bit of thyme errantly took up residence in a small patch of stubble that adorned the left side of my cheek (as I was digging into a fabulous chicken casserole) due to a haphazard shave-job this morning because I was late for my weekly massage.........

..... I would like to add, though, that I am proud to know so many Irish fellows & ladies..... hell, it cheers my soul to know so many of you guys are roaming around tonight searching for fellow Irishmen and Irishwomen to bump flasks with...... and according to Facebook?..... zillions of you have actively sought out huge chunks of corned beef and trenchers of boiled cabbage to assist with your evening's celebration.......

..... and you know, that just makes me smile.......

.... mainly because, well, I know all of you guys and gals per se........ but really?.... it's because I can sit here and know that I will NOT have to work with, hear, or be anywhere's NEAR your stinky personages tomorrow morning.........

.... and besides, most of my ancestors were German anyway........

.... so with that, ladies and gentlemen....... Erin Go Bragh!!....

...... just as long as I don't have to smell it in the morning!....

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Mayo.....

..... a few days ago my Sainted Mother requested "hotdogs" for tonight's weekly family dinner.... and while cruising the Kroger yesterday, I happened upon a package of Hebrew National's all-beef kosher hotdogs..... the label read, "Quality Product - Kosher - We answer to a Higher Power".... I was most definitely intrigued...... and it was stamped right above the USDA Approved label, of course, just for chutzpa........ and so, I bought them......

..... and, I might add, we consumed them all with unabashed abandon this afternoon with lashings of chili, diced onions, brown mustard, and sweet relish.....

.... well, I use The Royal "we", for it was only my Mother and I who ate them as described above....... The Missus ate her kosher hotdog with two thick slices of a 24-month aged cheddar tucked in between the bun alongside big globs of Hellmann's mayonnaise...... sort of a cylindrical bologna and cheese sandwich of sorts, I guess.....

..... I mean, who tears a bun apart, lays slabs of cheddar cheese across it, wipes a 1/2 pint of mayo on each bun-half, and then eats their hotdog like a satyr chewing a pan-flute after having just finished a furious dance with Bacchus??..... you should all live my life for a week and see how YOU blog afterwards........

...... as god as my witness, I will never look at a hotdog the same way again......

....ever.....

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Sauce.....

.... good morning, gentle rubberneckers...... I hope that you are all well...... as for us here?..... well, we're preparing to sally forth towards Knoxville in a drizzling rain to search for corduroy trousers.....

.... style knows no boundaries around here, folks..... nor does haute fashion, for that matter......

.... latter - on the drive home - I plan to visit a nice little fishmonger just off Kingston Pike and grab a few choice pieces of fresh halibut.....

..... perhaps a few daubs of homemade tartar sauce will dampen the tinge of corduroy PTSD to livable levels by sundown?...... who knows?.... but I think it is definitely worth a shot....

... hey, if it works, I'll be sure to let y'all know...... I doubt anyone has ever scientifically judged the curative properties of tartar sauce before, so it should be quite interesting.....

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Weird.....

... whilst struggling to pull a fleece seat cover (in the shape of a giant smiling penguin) over the passenger seat of The Missus' Cadillac two days ago, I happened to notice that the 8-inch tall bobble-headed hula guy that normally stands on her dash had somehow fallen off and broken..... and was clashing horribly with her SpongeBob floor mats......

.... I inquired, of course, in between the grunts and strains that the seat cover was giving me, and she mumbled something about "pulling one too many G's" when diving into one of her favorite back-road curves coming home from work.... I just nodded knowingly and finished buckling the penguin down....

... taking pity on the little fellow, though, I brought him inside and Liquid Nail'd his broken feet back to his base and laid him on the ottoman to dry.....

... well, last night while trying to distract myself from a particularly scary scene showing on the television, I picked up the hula guy and began jostling him so that his head & little green grass skirt would bobble...... as I did so, I began to sing a little John Prine ditty that I'd discovered a few years ago.....

... it began thusly at a moderately brisk pace....

Me: ....*jiggling the hula man*.... Weeeeeell, let's talk dirty in Hawaiian.......
Her: SNORT
Me: ..... whisper in my eaaaaaar....
Her: bwhahahaHAHAHAA!!....
Me: .... kicka pooka mok a wa wahini......
Her: good lord
Me: .... are the words I long to heeeear....
Her: Are you making that up as you go?!?

.... at that point the frightening part had passed, and I laid the little man aside...... sadly, she had never experienced that particular John Prine song before, and was naturally assuming that I was making up as I went along.....

.... but that got me to thinking.... I'll bet that you guys haven't heard that song either...... and you know, out of many horrible injustices in this world we live in, this is one that I can actually correct for you guys.... and hell, I consider it a civic duty....... so here....... and oh, you're welcome.....

.... I swear, you honestly can't make up the weird shit that goes on around here sometimes.......

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Dazed.....

.... an airy breakfast..... a light lunch..... and a very heavy dinner...... rain on and off for most of the day..... cloudy.... coolish and in the mid 40s temperature wise..... train whistles carry so well in the thick, cool air..... they shook the walls here from a mile away, they did....

..... the hunt today only lasted fifteen minutes..... and by the time I made it through the bushes out back and to the edge of the field, the rain had started, so I begged off and headed home....... I did call a few times, but with no luck...... all in all, a day of unsuccessful business..... buoyed by a few good meals and a warm, dry place to curl up......

..... I did, however, remember a bit of my Ogden Nash as I sat for those few minutes in the drizzle...... and so with sincere apologies to Mr. Nash, I give you my poem.....

Unsuccessful, by Eric

I stalk the wily coy-a-tee
With electronic calls of rabbit deaths
But it really didn't matter though
Since today they had all got-up-and-left
(Including me)

... heh heh heh..... who says that you can't write poems about hunting?..........

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Soup.....

.... tonight's earworm, folks...... I hope that you enjoy...... and tomorrow?...... hunting furry woodland beasts with extreme prejudice if all goes to plan......

... until then?....best I chill tonight with some Mr. Waits, I guess.........

... in other news, I successfully created my very first pot of homemade "soup" this afternoon..... t'was Cream of Mushroom, it was, and it was an absolute crowd-pleaser..... I'd love to post a recipe, but alas, there wasn't one..... instead I read up on a few and then cherry-picked their good ideas and made a mish-mash all my own...... it wasn't quite as thick as I would have liked, but it was damn sure flavorful........

.... next think you know?..... hell, I'll probably be baking bread........ or at least making a six layer hazelnut tiramisu from scratch, if I keep this pace up....

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Tweets......

.... we're currently enjoying a slight reprieve from Ole Man Winter around here.... with today's temperature peaking at an extremely hospitable 82 degrees, it has been a marvelous day.... sure, Dogwood Winter is just around the corner... and April will likely be colder than the proverbial well digger's ass, but as for right now things are just grand....

.... I opened all the windows around noontime, and the house has been filled with twittering, horned-up bird music all afternoon...... and between the birdies during the day and the frogs at dusk & morning, the woods and puddles that surround The Compound are absolutely alive with the sounds of singles searching for mates....

... at the moment, it is the cardinals and the mockingbirds.... and judging by their music floating in through the open blogroom window, it sounds like they're pretty heavily at work & most decidedly Open For Business....

.... it's actually a bit funny, you know?.... how we humans sit on our patio or porch and smile while enjoying the birds and their singing..... "how soothing", we say.... "how peaceful", we sigh....... "Nature, in all her glory, is so wonderful and beautiful", we nod knowingly whilst sipping our sweet tea......

.... when actually - if we spoke mockingbird or knew even the smallest bit of cardinalese - nothing could be farther from the truth....

.... for birdsong is, if nothing else, a long string of birdie profanities, curses, threats, boasts, propositions, cat-calls, wolf-whistles, come-ons, promises of undying love, loads of juicy worms, and a helluva nest all bunched in with a lot of "get outta my yard, you meddling whippersnappers!".....

.... peaceful?.... soothing?..... hardly...... those are things that we imagine to be true for our own comfort's sake...... but to the birds?.... it's pure lust and the crystalline threat of violence....

.... but even so, it DOES sound pretty.... just as long as you're not another bird....

.... and with that, rubberneckers, I'm off to hold down some patio furniture and listen to the birds argue and flirt...... and I highly suggest y'all do the same......

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Assyrian......

.... no posting tonight, boys & girls...... it's been a busy day..... instead?....a fellow that I found on YouTube doing some Nash........ and since I was reading ole Ogden just the other day while the puff pastry rose, I thought I'd share...... and hey, poetry is always welcome around here!....... so, enjoy....

...... I love that line about the Assyrian, though....... cracks me up every single time........ but he's right, you know?...... sometimes writing truly, truly sucks......

.... kinda like tonight...... "very like a whale"?....... that doesn't half do it justice....... ahh..... tomorrow is another day.....

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Courting.....

.... tis the season, I guess....... Springtime is here, and the beasties are prowling the night looking for mates...

.... last night as I prepared for bed, I wandered through the dark house and checked all the locks - my usual rounds before hitting the rack - and as I rattled the lock on the back door, I heard them.... two distinct set of coyote yips.... I suspect that the unfamiliar sound of me tweaking the deadbolt spooked them....

.... it's a definite sign that I need to get out into the woods in the near future and thin'em down a tad.... after all, they'd make short work of Fred & Bob if they had half a chance..... and while I am not overly enamored with either of those two kitties, I still owe them at LEAST a little protection.....

.... so..... coyote hunting next week, anyone?.....

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Friday....

.... today has been overcast & gray, but warm..... so The Missus and I dropped the top on Sylvia this afternoon, and headed north to Maryville for lunch and a movie....

.... lunch was enjoyed at Aubrey's, and it did not disappoint.... although the portion size was completely over the top for any normal human being..... for instance, I ordered their buttermilk chicken fingers (they were incredibly tasty and tender), and when my plate arrived, they were literally piled five inches high.......

... hey, I like chicken as much as the next guy, but I don't need a POUND of them.... no matter HOW tasty the damned things are......

... as for the movie?..... we chose "Taken", and wow..... if you like to see bad guys being killed, beaten, and maimed in new and unusual ways, then it is definitely a flick you can enjoy over and over again.... and ole Liam did a helluva job smacking the crap out of big, beefy gentlemen who were probably half his age.....

.... oh, and there were lots of excellent Audi-porn moments as well...... which was refreshing....

.... as for the storyline, it certainly has a high "holy shit" factor.... both in how one can gather intel AND in exactly how bad "the bad guys" inhabiting our world are..... sure, it was fiction, but I have no doubt that scenarios such as the one depicted in "Taken" are all too real.......

.... all in all, I recommend the film..... although I suspect that many female viewers will likely be appalled..... and quite rightly so......

..... in other news, I'm feeling a bit run down and in need of a nap....... and I have a headache...... I'll see you hammerheads tomorrow morning......

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Nobody.....

.... the salmon is in the oven, and "The Spy Who Loved Me" is banging out of the television & filling the living room with noise.... it's time to batten down the hatches around here and settle in for the evening.......

... good lord.... Jaws, Egypt, fast cars, gadgets, Bond, and Carly Simon..... my goodness, what's not to like about that film?.....

.... oh, and here, check this out.... definitely one of the best "movie songs" EVER....

.... you know, I think I'll hum that song as I drift off to sleep tonight.....

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Mending.....

... good evening, gentle rubberneckers.... I hope that you are all well.... as for me, I'm coming down off of a two-day sniffles and feeling fine...... I do still have a bit of a drip, though.... and curiously itchy eyes..... probably a resurgence of The Plague - genetically engineered for our on-the-move generation - of course..... and with all likelihood, I'll bounce around here for a few days, enjoy the hell out of myself, and then turn completely black 72 hours from now and die in a heap of swollen lymph nodes, oozing sores, and bloody coughs.....

... then again, I'll probably be just fine...... I can trace three branches of my family back into time well beyond the arrival of The Plague in France and Great Britain... and a few of my other ancestors survived the small pox & influenza that Ponce de Leon traipsed through my neck of the woods back in the day..... so I suspect that I come from sturdy stock

.... but you know, I truly hate catching a cold..... all the incessant sneezing, nose-wiping, coughing?.... it's enough to drive a body absolutely mad...... BUT, this itchy eye thing is a new one for me...... and it is even more irritating than the sneezing, coughing, and dripping!......

..... I caught myself reaching up a few minutes ago to daub at my thin line of sore eyelashes, and I couldn't help but think of Linus from that old Peanuts cartoon...... wasn't he the guy who was always sucking his thumb, clinging to his blankie, and wiping his tired, myopic eyes?.......

.... ahhh.... perhaps I just need set of eye-glasses?.....

... anyway, I would like to throw a shout-out to my old buddy Jerry.... he having been in my garage whilst I chased black widow spiders around last October, has seen fit to dedicate a decidedly funky tune in my honor..... and since nothing cheers the soul like a little funk, I suggest you head over, loosen up your neck muscles, and give his tune a listen......

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Leather.....

.... two years ago my younger Brother bought a jacket for me as a Christmas present..... he gifted himself one exactly like it - both of ours purchased from L.L. Bean after months and months of searching....

... at the time, I remember him telling me just how important it was for him to find just the right one..... the right cuffs, the right collar, the right lining, the right cut..... the right type of leather.....

... we'd searched everywhere for a jacket like my Father had worn while he was out railroading..... we hit every specialty leather shop between Knoxville and Chattanooga, and none could provide the goods..... it was frustration beyond frustration...... and even when we did find a jacket that "looked" right, it would be made of too soft a leather.... lamb, or something equally silly......

.... his original had come from J.C. Penny's - but they no longer stocked them when we began our search...... that old bomber-style jacket that my Mother had bought him in 1975 had been his constant companion.... and he had worn it through all manner of weathers for over ten years..... when it finally packed in and was tattered & fraying from years of exposure to his welding duties, he bought himself the exact same model in 1986.... hell, I remember standing beside him out by the barn - him wearing his new jacket against the December air - while he ceremoniously tossed it onto a fire he'd built for burning the rubber casing off of old copper wire that he'd found...... a packrat to the last & and a scrounger of scrap metal, he'd ignored the pleas of my brother and I to be given his old jacket..... I was a freshman in high school and would have LOVED to have worn that old, tattered jacket to school....... but, no.....

.... looking back now, I've always found it odd that he chose to burn that jacket....... I suspect that it was the idea of seeing us running around in a jacket that he'd toiled so hard in?..... maybe it was like a warrior switching out his armor?..... or perhaps that jacket reminded him of how hard the last 10 years had been?..... I just don't know..... I sure do wish that he were around to ask, though..... I have so many more questions for him now than I did back then.....

... anyway, I bring this up because my Mother saw me wearing my jacket the other day and inquired as to if I had Dad's old (second) jacket...... and sadly, I had to tell her no, that I was not in possession of it, but I was under the impression that she had it...... she replied in the negative as well.....

..... so, sitting here tonight with my own jacket tossed over on the suede couch beside me, I can't help but wonder where his old jacket might be right now.....

.... is it buried underneath piles of his things in the well house?... stored in a plastic tub?.... boxed-up in the barn?.... did we absentmindedly give it to one of his co-workers after he died?..... or a family member, perhaps?......... God knows it was far, far beyond repair when last I saw it, so I know that Goodwill would not have accepted it...... not with it's sleeves re-stitched with fishing line, and the cuffs so frayed from being scorched by red-hot slag....

.... the whole thing started me thinking of a post that I wrote four years ago this month...... the post is here, if you're feeling indulgent........ it's about the things that you find in your pockets......

.... damn..... I know where my pocket knives are..... I know where my Zippo is..... my cigarette case, my challenge coin....... but I don't know where his jacket is...... and now, after all of these years, I want to know....... I hadn't thought about it until she mentioned it, but now I want to know........ I have to know.......

..... and I didn't understand Joshua's need to find just the right jacket until just now......

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Mutiny.....

..... hmmmm..... well, it appears that the latest funny business taking place in Bangladesh has upset The Brother-in-Law's best laid plans for the last few days..... he, of course, commuting from his home in Dhaka out to The Sundarbans every few days to supervise the bungalow construction..... but when the latest "mutiny" took place, he was traveling over on the Burma-side of Bangladesh with two of his buddies..... one of whom was affiliated with the "Bangladesh Rifles"..... so when the mutiny started going down, his friend got the phone call in the dark hours of the morning..... so, Brother-in-Law, being The Upstanding Man he is, phoned his wife back in Dhaka (she's an editor with their national newspaper) and she rushed into work to begin covering the story......

.... hearing from her later that tanks were patrolling the streets, and that it wasn't safe to re-enter Dhaka, he and his friends decided to tour the tribal area near the Chittagong Hill Tracks instead of rushing back to The Capital at their alotted time.....

.... I swear, that boy could find a silver lining in a sock filled with shit......

.... had it been me?.... rushing back to make it home when I was expected?..... I'd have attempted to re-enter Dhaka, found the city in a state of lockdown - and been refused entry..... thus left trying to find shelter for the last few days out on the fringes of the city.....

.... my goodness, talk about a slice of adventure bad luck!.... sure, chillin' with the wallahs on The South Side of Town would have been most interesting, but not nearly quite so sanitary as The Sheraton, if you catch my drift....

.... I can hear it all now..... "Pardon me, sir, but would you rather have a side order of Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, or Typhoid with your curry this evening?.... ahhh, dining alfresco?.... excellent choice, sir.... I highly recommend the Typhoid... as it just swept in fresh from Chittagong last week...".... him?... wandering around having a blast.... me?.... carried off by mosquitoes on the outskirts of town.......

.... anyway, according the The In-Laws he's safe and sound now.... and seemingly no worse for wear from his impromptu layover......

.... oh, and in other news it appears that we'll be vacationing this autumn in Sitges, Spain, a town just 30 minutes from Barcelona - and five walking-minutes from the Mediterranean Sea.... more info on that as it filters in from my shady overseas sources.....

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Movies....

..... you know, this kinda makes sense......

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