Snowmen....

..... well, thanks to the latest bit of snowfall, my front lawn is now decorated with two of the most hideous, lopsided, walking-dead looking snowmen that The World has ever seen..... evidently there is an artistic side to building snowmen that is lost once a snowman builder reaches a certain age...... anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it......

.... maybe it's like seeing ghosts?.... I was watching one of those crackpot paranormal thingies on TV last night, and they said that kiddies could see ghosts because of their "closeness" to "the other side"...... and that they'll continue to see ghosts until "societal cues" poo poo the idea of ghosties, and force the kid to act normal and stop being afraid of the monster in the closet... (mine was always under the bed, incidentally, but I digress..) .....

... then again, maybe I always just sucked at building snowmen but it never registered properly when I was sculpting them in my childhood front yard because I was six.......

..... anyway, I can now say that - at 37 years of age - I DID create two snowmen yesterday...... and while they both look as if they have recently downed a pint of vodka, they DO exist.....

.... hey, at least I donned my boots, gloves, fleece, and jacket and TRIED!.....

..... thankfully my camera is on the fritz...

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Slippery....

.... well, boys & girls, it looks like we're in for our biggest snowfall around here since "The Blizzard of '93".... indeed, we're set to get 5-6 inches today followed by ice after midnight.....

... back in 1993, Chattanooga received nearly four feet of snow....

.... anyhoo, the bad thing is that The Missus is working a long shift today and will be driving home around 10:30..... I'm thinking that rear-wheel drive Cadillac may not be completely agreeable under these conditions, but she said there was no way that she could leave earlier..... hmmm..... I guess I'd better dust off the Danners and hunt up my tow rope, just in case....... then again, I'm not so sure Blanche would fare much better.........

.... if anything, it should be one helluva interesting night......

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Fears......

.... most bloggers that I know (and have met) absolutely hate clowns....... Jimbo, Elisson, Blackfive, they all hate them........ and tonight I read Big Stupid Tommy with great glee........

.... there is nothing like unintentional trauma, folks..... and when it comes to clowns?..... well, this is one of the classics.......

.... follow the link and click on the YouTube........ trust me, it is worth it.....

..... and for the record?..... I hate clowns too.........

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Overcast.....

..... yesterday around noon I was taught the difference between "partly cloudy" and "overcast"....

.... every day for the past week, the weatherman has called for "overcast skies with rain likely".... and for much of the time, he was more than correct..... being usually awake as dawn arrives, I noted how the light to the east - as the sun rose over the mountains in a slow, steady manner - didn't cast shadows or illuminate.... there was no burning ball on the horizon.... instead, there was merely an incremental brightening, brightening, and brightening until daylight arrived almost by accident...

.... and the "day" itself seemed to suck the color out of everything..... dulling, softening, and washing out each color that you saw - the trees, the grass, the fallen leaves....... there were no clouds, and one really couldn't make out any sense of depth in the sky at all... it was as if you had awoken to find yourself trapped in a black and white movie - boxed between a blank sky and a colorless earth.......

... I stood with my coffee one morning and was laughing as I watched it all unfold..... I swear, it reminded me of the times I would visit a high school friend's house years and years ago...... her parents had just built a new house, and I remember her showing me how the lights all had circular dials instead of flip-style switches..... those kinds of dials that allowed you to go from darkness, to gloaming, to midday just with a twist of the wrist... I always thought of that as just a wee bit crazy....... I never understood why anyone wouldn't just want their room lit, or dark, I guess...... but anyway, I was reminded of that over these past few days as morning arrived......

..... but yesterday?.... ahhhhh, yesterday....... yesterday was "partly cloudy"..... and do you know what "partly cloudy" meant?......

... it meant that the sky was blue.... and absolutely littered with clouds..... white, fluffy, bulbous clouds to the east, and dark, ominous clouds to the west..... and in between each passing beauty, bright sky and Jacob's Ladders slanting their way towards the glowing earth....... there was shadow, of course, but where the sunlight was breaking through, the colors were as fresh and vibrant as the light in a Rembrandt painting....... I drove into town for a few appointments and was amazed by the contrast of light and dark..... and the mood that the dappled light created everywhere it touched........

..... yesterday, it was "partly cloudy", and it was so beautiful...... and it was needed....... we've been "overcast" here for so long, I had nearly forgotten what sunlight looked like......

..... but today?..... today was another overcast day........

.... but the memory of yesterday made all the difference....

..... and I am so completely ready for springtime to arrive......

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Rashes....

... on this day in 1756, The Bard was born..... and as such, tonight, I feel the need to offer up a bit of his poetry for the occasion........ and it is one of my favorites......

.... if, like me, you feel the need to sing along, well, here are the lyrics...... I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.....

... here's Robert Burns' original with lots of Scots dialect thrown in.......

Green Grow The Rashes, O

Chorus
Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent among the lasses, O.

There's nought but care on ev'ry han',
In every hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life o' man,
An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.

The war'ly race may riches chase,
An' riches still may fly them, O;
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.

But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
My arms about my dearie, O,
An' war'ly cares an' war'ly men
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O;
The wisest man the warl' e'er saw,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.

.... and for those of you who have questions, here's a rough English translation......

Green grow the rushes, O; Green grow the rushes, O; The sweetest hours that ever I spend, Are spent among the girls, O.

There is nothing but care on every hand,
In every hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life of man,
And it were not for the girls, O.

The worldly race may riches chase,
And riches still may fly them, O;
And though at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can never enjoy them, O.

But give me a quiet hour at evening,
My arms about my dearie, O,
And worldly cares and worldly men
May all go topsy-turvy, O!

For you so grave, you sneer at this;
You are nothing but senseless asses, O;
The wisest man the world ever saw,
He dearly loved the girls, O.

Old Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her apprentice hand she tried on man,
And then she made the girls, O.

....... I've been to many a Burns Supper during my short time on Earth, and I enjoyed every single one......

.... and really, who can't love a man that'd write that last stanza?........ "Her apprentice hand she tried on man, and then she made the lasses."...... more true words have never been written, folks......

.... so, Happy Birthday, Rabbie Burns...... you were a cad, but you were an artist as well.....

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Noah...

..... well, I'd like to officially declare the Eagle Glen section of the Ocoee River now open to navigation up to and including cargo barges...... good grief, I have streams six inches deep & four feet wide flowing around either side of my house from all of this rain..... I'm half-expecting to see a group of helmeted kayakers paddling by any minute.....

.... sure, I'm as big a fan of rainy days as the next guy, but all in moderation.... if it keeps this up for much longer I'm going to be forced to don the old Gore-Tex and begin building some kind of ark.......

.... and we all know how bad and frightful of a carpenter I am...... so I'd certainly hate to see the ark I'd end up building.....

... anyway, I'm off to consult my giant reference book on World Mythology to see which god I need to start schmoozing to get a little sunshine around here......

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Ummmm.....

..... damn, folks..... I'm tired.....

..... so whip up a batch of nachos and think on that for a while....... goodness knows that I am going to.......

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Colonial.....

..... lightning is flashing off in the distance tonight, and the sound of rolling thunder is mixing with the cheers and commentary of the Australian Open blasting forth from the comfort of the living room..... it's been a nice, quiet day...... and I am so looking forward to this weekend.......

.... but, wow, can you believe that there is a thunderstorm here in January?..... hell, just last week it was 15 degrees!....... and we had nearly 10 days where the temperature never rose above freezing..... and now it is lightning outside?....... the world has turned upside down, if you ask me...... then again, we ARE watching the Australian Open.......

.... hmm..... could that be the connection?......

..... anyway, I read once that "The World Turned Upside Down" was the song that Cornwallis' men played as they marched out to surrender after the Battle of Yorktown....... anyone else heard that rumor?..... here's a demo of the tune to jog your memory........

.... the original folk song from which this march came also has an interesting story behind it if you care to research........

..... anyway, I'm beat, folks...... and with that, I am off to enjoy the lightning and rain......... it almost seems like springtime is here!.....

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Polyticks.......

..... I heard today about a fellow in Massachusetts, a Republican, who was overwhelmingly elected to fill Ted Kennedy's old, musty seat in Congress.....

.... and while many find that a glorious, earth-shattering event, I consistently find that shit happening in my own back yard mimics the News that I see everyday - if even metaphorically......

..... and as a case in point, I humbly offer the following story......

..... my lawn, my yard, my deck, my woods, they all find themselves being Nostrodamus' blotting pad in retrospect......

..... so anyway, Scott is elected as The Senator from Massachusetts........ well, fair enough........ this Tuesday before last was garbage day here in Eagle Glen, and the bastard garbage men stole my fine, beige, plastic garbage can......

.... that's right, rubberneckers....... I put out the garbage as I do every Tuesday evening, and the next morning all that was left was the poor, lonely, beige garbage can lid - and the can - filled with two neatly tied black garbage bags - was gone......

...... I searched and searched for a week for my missing garbage can - cursing under my breath as I did so - but to no avail...... it was GONE..... missing...... incommunicado, even........

...... and so, as yesterday was Tuesday, I gave up on the ole garbage can and trundled my two bags of garbage down to the curb for pick-up...... and as a final insult, I placed the lonely, discarded garbage can lid on top of one of the black bags.......

..... can you believe that those thieving assholes actually lifted up the lid from atop a bag, tossed the bag into the truck, and then laid the lid back down on the ground in front of my mailbox?......

.... good god, I was standing at the living room window shouting while I watched them do it!..........

... I mean, what kind of a deviant would steal a garbage can and leave the lid in the first place....... and the next week fail to take the lid when it had obviously been left as refuse?...........

...... which, of course, brings me to Scott..... lookit, folks...... how exactly is it that the citizens of Massachusetts could elect, elect, and re-elect Ted Kennedy for 42 years without batting an eyelash, and then suddenly jump ship towards a REAL candidate once Ted was dead and buried?........ why didn't they do this ten years earlier?...... were they just voting "Kennedy" because that is what good MA folks do?......... and here's the kicker..... if Teddy were still alive would this miraculous "breath of fresh air" have been elected this year?........ I don't think so, and that is the truly tragic thing about worrying about politics......

... and you know, that is what pisses me off most about politics - and why I never write about politics here on this stupid blog........ because most folks aren't any smarter than the bastards who stole my garbage can and then refused to take the lid the next week......... but then again, most folks will lift the lid off of a bag of garbage day after day - just to get the black bag underneath - because that is what they have been conditioned to do........... even though the bag AND the lid need to both be tossed together.........

...... Teddy should have been tossed a long time ago, folks...... let us hope that Scott is that great breath of fresh air that we've all be hoping for........ and not just another lid that needs to be tossed with "the usuals".....

.... but I DO live in hope.....

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Action....

.... a happy, happy birthday to Edgar Allan Poe, born on this day in 1809..... stoned, drunk, published, widowed, and dead by the age of 40..... mercy....

.... requiescat in pace, sir.....

.... I shall stand, respectfully peering into the darkness of the woods behind the house tonight, and recite a chunk of "Annabel Lee" in your honor while holding my Edgar Allan Poe action figure.......

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Commando........

..... I trained with these gentlemen not too long ago....... good god..... what a difference ten years makes, eh?.........

...... still, the reporter did an amazing job.......... see?...

...... here's a bit of an example from the past..... and, of course, yet another......

.... you guys get what I am aiming at.......

.... Jesus Christ, why am I here trying to write a novel?........methinks that I need to refocus my efforts.........

.... because something just isn't right.......

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Hats.....

...... in the great scheme of things, I suppose that I have never ever been "the cool guy".... especially back in high school....... and it was brought out to me quite heavily at lunch this afternoon at Aubrey's in Maryville......

.... I was swishing sugar around in the bottom of my glass of iced tea (the waitress had messed up and brought me unsweet tea instead of sweet, and I chose to doctor it at the table instead of complaining), when I happened to glance up at one of the beautiful chalk drawings that adorn the Maryville Aubrey's....... it was a scene of Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn from "On Golden Pond"......

.... in between wolfing down mouthfuls of my "Haystack Pasta", I mentioned that I had always thought Fonda's hat was very, very cool...... you know the hat that I'm talking about....... that short-brimmed boonie type hat that he wore in the film?...... with dry flies nipped into the cap at haphazard angles?........

.... she stopped eating for a few minutes and gazed at the drawing..... and then, without missing a beat she said, "that hat?..... you have got to be kidding me....that's the geekiest hat that I've ever clapped eyes on..".....

.... I protested, of course, saying that I still thought his old fishing cap was pretty nifty..... and then she upped the ante thusly, "yeah, but YOU also thought wearing knee-high buckskin moccasins to school was cool too, so your judgment is already a bit suspect...."....

.... in my defense, I had forgotten that I had told her about those moccasins that I owned years ago......

... anyway, she continued.... "AND you drove that beat-up '51 Ford to school!.... good lord, I can just picture it now, Eric.... you in your jeans, those knee-high buckskin shoes, Henry Fonda's old fishing cap, and a tee-shirt that said "If you don't like Hank Williams you can kiss my ass..... face it, you were such a geek"....

.... I droned out the rest of her train of thought by humming loudly to myself and chewing vigorously on my chicken & pasta entree........ but, damn!.... I still would love to have one of those hats - and no, not because they are particularly pleasing to the eye - but because of what a hat like that actually represents...

... while ugly, I agree, a hat like that represents The History of the Owner.... beat-up, stained with sweat and lake water, frayed around the edges..... a hat like that holds a thousand memories of boat rides, fish tales, and sunsets viewed after a day out on the water..... I'm probably a little more sentimental that most folks, but I see that cap as an old friend to the wearer.... through good times & bad times, it holds a connection to the abundant life of an outdoorsman, a fisherman, a father, teacher, grandfather, and friend.....

.... I guess I just believe in keeping things that have been with me while I was creating fond memories......

.... but I sure am glad that I outgrew those buckskin moccasins......... some things really are best left unremembered......

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Service

..... from a few years back, here's something to listen to...... A Poem......

...... damn, I need to post more R. W. Service poems, folks...... I have lapsed.......

..... back in September of 2003, I declared this place to be a sanctuary of Service's works......... and lo, how I have backslid!.......

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Fighting.....

..... in a break from the usual, The Missus and I toured the back roads today in search of a movie in Cleveland..... and after a forty-minute drive under blue skies and along extremely curvy roads we ended up hitting the 2pm showing of "Sherlock Holmes" in McDonald, Tennessee - just south of Cleveland.... and my, was it a beautiful day for a drive in the country...

... as for the movie, I liked it quite a bit....... I've always been a fan of the Sherlock stories, and this one was wrapped up nicely by the end of the flick in fitting fashion....... however, in all of my reading, I never pictured Holmes as a MMA hardman...... and yet, I found his bare-knuckle fight scene absolutely enthralling......

... here, check this out....

.... once upon a time I would have vivid, bloody dreams similar to this at least once a month..... these days, not so much..... but wow, it was such a shock to see Holmes portrayed in such a way.... and it definitely brought back memories of my old dreams......

.... I haven't been in a fight in a very long time...... but when I have, they all ended just about as quickly as they started...... bam, bam, bam, bam, and it was over....... most movies show long, drawn-out scenes that are completely unrealistic...... from my experience, Holmes rocked that guy's world in about three seconds....... which is pretty realistic...... it's like the motto of the SAS says, I guess..... "Who Dares Wins".....

... still, I recommend the movie....... it's a lot of fun...... and it's kinda nice to watch Sherlock Holmes kick some ass..... (... sorry, Mr. Rathbone, but it's true...) ....

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Asshole......

.... after today?...... well, I dedicate this song to Mr. Kiffin........ what a piece of fucking work.........

.... may your new college realize what a false, un-affiliated, useless fucking douchebag you are way, WAY before we did here........ hell, we thought you would be a breath of fresh air......... but instead?...... well, you were just a lot of hot air with a truck-load of priorities that were fairly immoral......

... in short?.... fuck you...... you aren't fit to suck my cock, Lane........ and as a matter of fact, what the fuck is up with your Daddy naming you "Lane" in the first place?..... what, was he a DUI offender of long-standing with the TBI?...... was that some promise that he made to keep you from being aborted early because of a driving infraction of his?....... if so, then your daddy chose poorly....... he is as much of a whore as you are..... and you deserve each other.......

..... listen closely, folks...... this is important......

... Lane Kiffin is an asshole of the first water....... and he should so fucking rot......

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Aces......

..... for those of you who had no idea what song The Jawja bloggers were playing in the previous entry, here is the full - and authentic - version of the song........

.... hey, who knew that The Amazing Rhythm Aces were local boys from Knoxville?....

.... enjoy, folks........ it is truly a helluva song...... and the lead guitar is pretty damned good......

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Romance....

..... too tired to post, folks........ and actually, well, never mind........ just watch this instead.......

... here are Jimbo, Moogie, Eric of YouBitch, Recondo32, Catfish, David, Acidman, Denny, and Christina's friend Susan all in this shot.... oh, and Mr. Helpful himself.........

..... my goodness, what a night that was......

... and what a great, great song........ the fellows did it perfectly......

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Snow...

..... the past few days have seen tiny accumulations of snow settling again, again, and again....... an inch here, half an inch there, a freeze, a slight thaw, and then a dusting the next day..... but really, for the better part of a week, we have maintained below-zero temperatures and the steady presence of snow.......

.... the snow started late on the first night, and I put a small tray of leftovers out on the deck for Fred & Bob to nibble on at their leisure.... and like clockwork, they arrived at 6:15 sharp and buried their whiskered faces heartily into the small plate of cool chicken korma...... you know, I read somewhere that cats only have sixteen taste buds per square inch as opposed to the millions that we humans have..... I always laugh quietly when I feed the cats chicken korma....... I can't help but wonder how the ratio of nerves on their backsides relates to their taste buds..... and just how much appreciation they receive from that leftover korma the next day as they waddle towards the litter box........

..... but hey, that's just me......

... anyway, I bring this all up because of the snow, mainly...... see, the morning after the snow The Missus wandered out onto the back deck to wallow in the glory of it all....... I, of course, stayed inside and drank coffee whilst she pummeled the dining room door with snowballs.... but after about ten minutes of that, she was done.....

..... she then proceeded to tell me of all the various "prints" on the deck that she had seen as she patted snowballs together for throwing......

... after a quick analysis (and once-over from the Audubon Field Guide for the Southeastern United States), we determined that our humble little deck had been visited by at least five species of mammals, eight species of birds, and one wine drinking Scotswoman with bare feet.......

...... hey, who knew that a fresh snowfall could be so damned interesting forensically the next morning?.....

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BCS....

... it's 22 degrees here and snowing....... a gentle 10mph breeze is piling the white stuff against the southwestern side of the house, and the titmice have been raiding the bird feeder like they have radar - knowing that tonight is going to test their wee hearts......... we've about two inches of snow on the ground now with more scheduled to arrive during the night....... and tomorrow?...... perhaps a hunting trip out to see if I can find those coyotes that were yipping around a few nights ago......

... as for tonight?........ just two words, rubberneckers... "GO BAMA!".......

.... I'm off for a cocktail and to await the kickoff.....

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Chicks.....

.... so, the Missus chose to watch "Pitch Black" again this evening..... I had whipped up an enormous batch of my chicken korma, and it seemed that the night was settled....... garlic naan, chicken korma, a bottle of wine, and "Pitch Black"..... what could go wrong?.......

..... well, I'll tell you.......

..... midway through the flick, she turned to me and asked, "why is it that we enjoy this movie so much?"....... I thought for a bit, quite surprised at the question, and replied, "redemption?"....... she nodded thoughtfully and poured another glass of wine.......

... all was well for a while........

...... and twenty minutes later - just as Vin Diesel was shaving his head with a glazing of axel grease and a piece of space craft debris - she spoke up again...... "I think that we like this movie so much because it is an honest to goodness 'chick flick'.... "....

..... I was stunned at first, as I am sure that most of you would have been..... I mean, Aliens? Criminals? Muscle-bound heroes? Muslims jamming glowing space-slugs into an old Jack Daniels bottle to keep from being eaten in the dark by head-butting, flying space nasties?.........

....... I mouthed a few of these concerns, but they bounced off of stoic ears.....

..... her response was that all of the actual heroes in the film were women.... thus, in a roundabout sort of way, "Pitch Black" was a "chick flick".......

.... when the planets first started to align, it was a woman who said that she could fix the sand-cat and drag the fuel pods back to the escape skiff........ the little boy who mimicked Riddick turned out to be a little girl (being brave, of course)....... and in the end, it was the heroics of the second mate (a female) who actually allowed Riddick, the girl (who had been posing as a boy), and the Muslim cleric to safely escape the blackened planet before they were eaten by the scary things......

... now, honestly, I see her point...... I do........ but I do also vehemently disagree with her view of things........ and while I have been forced to sit through many a chick flick, I simply cannot agree that "Pitch Black" even remotely qualifies.........

...... and so, I asked her this evening what I should post about, and her reply was that I ask you guys...... so, there you have it.......

..... "Pitch Black", folks...... a chick flick?.... or a great movie about redemption, surviving hostile environs, and just generally running around alien worlds being a knife-wielding badass?........

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Places.....

.... a friend of mine sent me a link to this video this afternoon........ and I am quite sure that I will likely be having horrible nightmares for most of the night........

..... notice the BIG mountain on the left of the screen that is partially obscured with low-lying cloud?....... well, that'd be Mt. Moffett..... I wrote once of Mt. Moffett here, as I recall............

... Lake Andrew, although you can't see it from the shot, lies just to the south of the mountain and is protected from the Bering Sea by a thin seawall that runs from Mt. Moffett over to the east towards the "other" little bump you saw on the approach, Mt. Adagdak....... in the first few seconds of the approach video, Adagdak is off to the right..... a little pap-shaped arch of land.......

.... I lived in the shadow of Adagdak for nearly two years... climbed her many, MANY times out of pure boredom........ but, God, I do not miss that place one little bit........

....... the video shown here is not typical......

.... that plane came in and landed just as if it had done it a million times in the past, but trust me, those pilots will be sucking down the juice after that landing...... that was a landing of pure peace.......

..... every day that I was there, the planes landed sideways in a gale.... and the co-pilot had to have his ass pried from the cockpit because both cheeks had gripped onto the foam so viciously due to fright, that there was simply nothing else to be done in the matter........

..... eh.... lies, damned lies, and statistics..... and old memories of veterans....... hey, who can you really trust these days??.....


... but still?..... Adak, Alaska sucked, boys and girls..... and she sucked MIGHTY hard......

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Married......

.... I was afforded the pleasure of attending the wedding of one of my 1st cousins this afternoon, and I had a wonderful time.... and I wish them both all the best for the future...

.... it was an uncommon service, I guess..... quiet, quaint, and full of Love and Devotion....... of course, I say that having not attended that many weddings to be an expert by any stretch, but I always find it striking when couples choose to make up their own vows.....

.... my young male cousin is only 21 - and his bride is a youngster as well, herself only 21...... when the minister asked everyone to pray, all I could think of was "Just let them make each other happy, God." ...... and that in itself is a pretty high bar to shoot for..... simple of me, yes, but I've always been a simple sort of man when it comes to most things.....

..... young Matthew read his vows from a folded sheet of paper that he pulled from his tuxedo pocket with trembling hands, and he read well........ the bride though?...... as he read and glanced up at her from time to time, she was nearly in tears....... I do believe that everyone in the audience was more than a little bit worried that she'd start openly weeping when it came her turn to read...... but, the little lass pulled it off....... The Women are definitely the Stronger Sex, and don't let anyone tell you anything any different.......

.... with a quivering lip and heavily wet eyes, her voice never quavered as she read her response to him........ I do hope that they will go very, very far together.....

..... she began her little speech by saying, "I was sixteen years old on February 25th, 2005 when you first told me that you loved me.... I remember hanging up on you and being completely terrified...... well, here we are nearly five years later and I am still completely terrified....... but I look forward to the years ahead with my best friend, and the love of my life..".....

..... I remember thinking, "wow..... 16 years old...... five years together.... and getting hitched at the tender age of 21.... both of them sophomores in college and both holding down part-time jobs... I sure hope that he is her 'best friend'.... DAMN, that was mean of me, of COURSE he is!....... BAD Eric...."...... but really, it melted my heart.......

..... and there was no denying the atmosphere in the church though - or throughout the marriage ceremony for that matter....... they were truly, deeply, and innocently in love with each other..... and the sentiment dripped from every word, glance, and touch that they shared together as we all looked on.....

.... it was a heartening afternoon, folks..... even for an old softie like me....... it's not often that you find yourself faced with young loves - first loves - now One in the eyes of The Church, God, and the Great State of Tennessee.....

..... the morning started off here with snow flurries and a crisp, blue sky.... and it's trailing off now with the temperature in the mid-teens, Kubrick's "Lolita" on the television, and hopes of a wedding night that will ring in the heart of my little cousin for years and years to come.....

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Hitchcock....

.... today has taught me that I am not a fan of Alfred Hitchcock... after marathons of "Marnie", "Psycho", "Rear Window", and "Vertigo", I am done...... Hedren in "Marnie" is just plain bizarre...... sure, her hair looks like some sort of football helmet, but it was the rape scene with Sean Connery that nixed the whole thing for me...... well, that and her shooting her horse......... and her beating that sailor to death while her whore Mom sobbed underneath the undesirable mass that is Bruce Dern....... so, yeah, there was that...... hell, I've never forgiven him for gunning down John Wayne in "The Cowboys"......

.... and don't even get me started on "Vertigo"..... can you believe that they cast a decorated WWII BOMBER pilot as someone with vertigo?..... good god........ and the eyebrows on that chick he was fawning over looked like they might have busted loose at any moment from her temples and flapped in the breeze - causing her blondeness to take flight and flap out over San Francisco Bay with no trouble at all.........

.... damn, I hate Hitchcock movies with a burning passion........

..... but still, Happy New Year!.....

... instead of the usual black-eyed peas, collard greens, and all other things Southern, we chose a less traditional feast for this afternoon's dining......... crumbled breakfast sausage, a huge hunk of Velveeta cheese, and a jar of Pace picante sauce slow-cooked until it was ready for dipping.......

..... a finer food for nibbling whilst watching college football has never been invented, folks.........

.... of course, we're both likely to die of heart failure in the very near future, but hey!....... what is it that Red says in the "Shawshank Redemption" so eloquently?........ "Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'?......... well, there you go, rubberneckers...........

...... lunch and dinner were served from the very same bowl, and there were no complaints.......... other than, as mentioned before, the fact that I had to watch Miss Eyebrows fall of that rooftop FOUR TIMES today........ AND sit through poor ole Janet Leigh's delicate chest getting punctured at LEAST three times over the past two days.....

.... the only decent film that Hitchcock made - as far as I'm concerned - was "Rope"...... but even then you still wanted all of the characters to catch rabies and bite themselves to death by the end as the credits rolled.......

.... and yes, even Jimmy Stewart........

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