Responsibility.....

..... about two months ago, the fellows who lived across the street from me left their home in a rush and moved to Belize..... missionary duty, I've been told since, but it was literally a case of one day they are watering their lawn, and the next they are having a garage sale and selling their bedroom set........ and two days later they were GONE........ hey, I respect anyone who would sally forth to do missionary work, but something about their whole "exit" just seemed a bit irresponsible......

.... the area surrounding their home - and the covered breezeway that connected the garage to the house - is an absolute jungle...... ivy runs rampant..... shrubs, hanging baskets, and ferns surround their house to the point that if you saw a Japanese soldier peep his face out after dark, you'd swear that you were in New Guinea ALA 1942.....

.... anyhow, after my annual 4th of July fireworks display this past year showered their vacant lawn with the left-over sticks from my 50 or so rockets, I wandered over to retrieve them one afternoon.... and that was when I discovered that - buried among the dense, tropical undergrowth, they also had two small koi ponds that were absolutely filled to the brim with 8-inch long koi carp..... I must admit that I was shocked and awed at the same time...... I mean, I just wasn't expecting to find such a bowl full so close to my own home..... it's odd, I know, but I stood there for the longest time just watching the fish..... eventually the mosquitoes ran me off, and I wandered back to my own house...... but that night I couldn't wait to tell The Missus of what I had discovered.....

..... fast forward to today...... a light thunderstorm had just passed and the Sun had broken through after lunch..... so I walked through to the living room where The Missus was curled on the couch.....

... "C'mon.... let's go.... put your shoes on.... I told you about those fish a month ago..... let me show them to you!"......

...... I'd told her about them the day that I first discovered them, but she'd never taken the time to go and look for herself...... so I took the lead, and we set off down the driveway.......

.... after arriving at the edge of the neighbor's jungle, it dawned on me that I should have asked her to wear more than the flimsy flip-flops that she had chosen as footwear...... the honeysuckle and morning glory vines were so dense that it was quite difficult for ME to walk, much less for a person only wearing shoes that were connected to feet with only a thin strap.... but still, she soldiered on while I followed behind.....

.... and what a sad, sad sight we found when we finally arrived at the pools...... two dead adults were floating - half decayed..... and the water itself was a deep forest-green..... the pumps and filters had stopped weeks ago once the county had turned off the power, and the water was hot, thick, smelly, and stagnant......

.... she was disgusted and trod off around the corner to peek into the windows of the abandoned house....... I, with ever the attention to detail, stood stone-still and examined the details of the pool.... the lilies, the ivy, the flat stones...... I was searching for life among the death...... and after five minutes or so, I saw the faintest flick of a white tail swish just below the surface, and I knew that there were fish still alive in the pool......

.... I looked around and found a fishnet that had been discarded in the vines, and I started scooping....... my third swipe reaped a minnow - twisting and flipping itself into the air as I examined the bottom of the dip-net......

.... there was an empty and unused garbage bag on the breezeway that I used to collect water in...... and into that water I deposited my baby koi...... five more minutes of netting resulted in two more minnows........

..... and so now, I have three baby koi carp living in an old glass salad bowl in my kitchen...... if they survive until morning, I will go into town and buy them a proper bowl and some food..... and if they are alive in the morning?...... I may even go back to the neighbor's house and see if I can find any more survivors......

..... if we humans create something that contains life for our pleasure, we should maintain it...... and it really, really pisses me off that a family of humans could traipse off halfway around the world to be missionaries for God, and leave those creatures to die.... slowly.... hopelessly.......

.... life is life, rubberneckers...... and every speck of life is to be respected.... sometimes things need to be killed, of course... but hunt what you need, eat what you kill, and leave the rest to enjoy itself as best it can..... and if you put something in a cage for your pleasure, then you should damn sure take CARE of it...... making any creature suffer is just beastly on the part of the human.....

.... so, anyone who has any knowledge of keeping fish, I'm all ears...... I've never owned a fish before - until now..... and they are much too small to fry up with some chips, so I'm kinda stuck....... pointers are definitely welcome.......

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Promotions....

..... after watching Dax's latest video post, this song latched itself violently onto my brain and I've been humming it ever since....... and so, I dedicate this to ole Dax..... congrats on the promotion, sir....... but that cut is not NEARLY short enough, you hippie.....

.... a toe-tapper, non?...... and if you watched his video as well, you will recognize that Mr. Montana has excellent taste in beer.....

.. in other news, I was given the chance to peer into the depths of my own septic tank this afternoon...... and I have still not fully recovered from the experience..... suffice it to say that a Human Being should never, ever be introduced to ten years worth of his own emissions all at once like I was today when the happy Septic Tank Sucker-man arrived to work his magic......

.... It was odd, seeing all that shit clogged in one poor, tiny concrete box..... and yet I couldn't help but imagine that I was feeling the exact same sensation that Koontz must feel every time he walks by the horror section of his local Waterstone's......

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Gall.....

.... so.... last night The Missus walks in from work and says to me, "... the strangest thing happened to me today..... an elderly woman strode in and said, 'Ma Husband had been galled'ed....... whut can you do to halp?'"

...... she looked at me, and I looked back at her quizzically.........

.... "Galleded", she says..... "what the fuck is that supposed to mean?"....

...... and I must admit, it took me a moment or two, but then I began......... "ummmmm..... it is an Old word...... it is only used by old country folk, and good god, it has been years since I have heard anyone say it....... but........ I'm pretty sure that it has something to do with a man's nutsack....".......

.... "what?!?".....

..... "yeah..... back when I played baseball and we all wore a jockstrap and cup, I remember hearing folks talk about their sons being galled'd....... it was something to do with irritation around the nether regions caused by being sweaty, being active, and being chaffed around the nutsack region due to wearing a cup..."........

.... "good god....... I had a woman come in today to tell me that her husband needed medication because he had been 'galleded' while working in the fields...... I had no idea what to say to her..... I'd never even heard of the word before.... I mean, gall?..... galled?....... and then galled'ed?...... what the hell?........

....... so, being just as curious (and confused) as she was, I wandered off to find my giant copy of the Oxford American English Dictionary...... and what I found shocked us both....... check this out, hammerheads........ the multiple definitions of the world "gall"......

gall

"sore spot on a horse," O.E. gealla "painful swelling," from L. galla "gall, lump on plant," originally "oak apple," of uncertain origin. Perhaps from or influenced by gall (1) on notion of "poison-sore." The verb meaning "to make sore by chafing" is from mid-15c.; figurative sense of "harass, irritate" is from 1570s. Related: Galled ; galling .

.... or even better, from websters.com....

gall definition Function: vt : to rub and wear away by friction : CHAFE loose saddle gall ed the horse's back>

...... the interesting thing is that this really IS an OLD word being used in modern times here in Appalachia........ our ancestors really were speakers of Old English, and Galled is just one of those words that has survived among the hillfolk here and died out in usage in England, Scotland, and Wales..........

.... that poor woman's husband had been working out in the heat and his nuts got galled'ed....... and that, is absolutely what happened to them...... and what is more?..... it is pretty close to being grammatically correct after 3-4 hundred years.........

....... fuck, that makes me proud to be from the East Tennessee hill country......... even if we DO spell things a bit differently than most folks..........

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Anticipation....

.... the past three evenings have worn the most amazing dusks..... flanked by high thunder clouds to the north and south, the setting sun has blazed golden everything that it has hit...... and today it happened again for the third day in a row..... trees, grass, and even the very air itself is hued....

... I've seen the air colored like this before, of course.... usually when we're expecting a tornado the sky will go yellow and the breezes will calm..... so it has been more than a little unnerving to watch this happen just before the sun dips down behind the Cumberland plateau - leaving us in darkness & anticipation of a storm which doesn't come...... life's like that, I guess...... whatever you THINK is coming usually passes...... it's the times when you think you have the tiger by the toe that you suddenly get ambushed......

... in other news, I visited a book sale at one of the local high schools the other day and made out like a proverbial bandit.... I bought 37 volumes of Time-Life's WW II set (there are originally 39 in the set) for 55 bucks..... it's pretty damn awesome when you can spend fifty-five dollars, and end up with so many books that you need a dolly to haul them out to your car......

... I also purchased a copy of "Fix Bayonets" from 1926 for five dollars...... it is a book that I read many years ago and have quoted on this blog a few times..... and I certainly look forward to reading it again.......

... and then, in an absolute fit of insanity, I bought a dog-eared copy of "Walden; or, Life in the Woods" by Thoreau...... good god, give me strength....... once upon a time I loved reading Emerson and Thoreau.... but now?.... well, methinks that I have perhaps dug one too many ditches by hand to begin hanging on their ideals again like I did as a nipper.....

.... Life in the Woods wouldn't have been nearly as bearable for him had Momma not been a few cornfields away baking cobbler and roasting goose.........

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Fireteams......

.... I'm up...... they see me..... I'm down...... fire three rounds and wait for squad members to advance beyond me....... I'm up..... they see me..... I'm down....... rinse & repeat....

... mercy.....

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Descriptions....

..... more on watching television when you are blessed to have DirecTV....... behold The Descriptions, fellow travelers....... I found these while strolling through the living room over the past few days....

tv_description_small.jpg

... and a few days later?....... this?!...

tv_description2_small.jpg

.... methinks they be smoking some weed at DirecTV Central....... either that, or there are a LOT of weird-assed movies that I have never seen before....

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Professionals.....

..... two days ago I found some time to re-watch 'The Professionals' in its entirety.... and damn, but I do love me a Lee Marvin flick.... I've been a fan of his flea-bitten self since the first time I saw him in 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance'.... and in later years I bought his biography and could not get enough....

.... did you know that he was wounded as a young Marine on Saipan and spent 9 months in the hospital recovering from his gunshot wounds?..... and that while he was an island-hopping jarhead his father was a sergeant in the army in Europe trying to kill Nazis?....... and more than that, after healing from his wounds, he was declared 80% disabled well before his acting career ever took off....... he was a true old corps combat vet of the highest caliber, folks.......

..... but I mention all of this because I watched the middle and end of 'The Professionals' again yesterday with The Missus..... and after an hour (just after the scene where Burt Lancaster scaled the rope to place the explosives in the canyon), she arose and sallied off to fetch my Oxford Biographical Dictionary from the living room bookshelf....

... and after leafing through quite a few pages she arrived back and sat herself down with a thud.....

Her: ..did you see Burt just climb that rope?....

Me: ...... oh yeah.... huge upper body strength..... and you know, he always did his own stunts...... he was in GREAT shape for this movie...... I've climbed a few ropes before, and he was doing that shit the HARD way...... .

Her: ..this movie was made the year that I was born...... I just checked..... he was 53 when he climbed that rope..... Lee Marvin was nearly ten years younger than him when they shot this.....

Me: ..... yeah, well, he certainly kept himself really well...... did you know that he was actually drafted during the war?..... and he spent all of his time entertaining the troops in Africa and Italy?...... never saw any combat....

Her: .. no, I didn't know that..... but wow, what a fine figure of a man he was.... even at 53....... I mean, just look at him!...... and Pompey, too!.... remember him from 'Liberty Valance'?...... he was Wayne's valet during the movie....... just look at those two guys.....

Me: ...... ummm, yeah, I guess.... that's Woody Strode as your Pompey, but you miss the point.... I think that Marvin has much more character than either of those two in this movie...... just look at him...... he's ten years Lancaster's junior, and he looks like he's 65.... and yet you still know that he can kick some ass when some ass-kicking is needed........

Her: .... I wonder what you'll look like when your 53.......

Me: ... me?.... I doubt I'll make it that long, honestly........ but if I do, I imagine that I'll look a bit more like Lee Marvin than Burt Lancaster......

Her: .... wait.... how old was your Father when he died?....

Me: ... he was born in the autumn of 1945 and died in the spring of 2001...... so he was just shy of being 56 years old.......

Her: ..... wow..... you know, I remember his 55tth birthday...... he'd just been diagnosed with cancer and your Mother sent us those photos of him peeling back the swimming pool cover and doing that backwards flip into the water on his birthday....... in September of 2000...... there wasn't an inch of fat anywhere on him.....

Me:.... yeah, I remember that...... he did a flip on his birthday every year that they had the pool..... they'd close the pool on Labor Day and he'd open it back up on the 26th - his birthday - just so he could act crazy and celebrate a little.......

Her: ...... you know, you can have Lee Marvin....and I'll keep Burt and Pompey.........

Me: .... heh.... thanks... now, shut up and watch the end of the movie..... this is the part where they all tell their "boss" that he can kiss their ass and they'd rather see Raza run off with is True Love than collect their blood money... it's the best part of the movie!....

Her:...... Jack Palance was a God as well, you know?....... but your Dad could have kicked ALL of their asses..... in turn....... and then still have done a back-flip.......

Me: ...... you're probably right........ now, shush........ and watch the movie!!....

... here's the trailer in case you've never seen the movie before.....

.... I'm pretty sure that my Dad could have taken them all in a fair fight....... but not all at once...... he'd have needed to whip them one at a time......

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Donovan....

.... I spent the day down in Chattanooga touring the aquarium, hitting the pubs, and craning my neck towards the summit of Lookout Mountain........ it has been a wistful kind of day, really.... brutally hot.... with rain that began as high, cool drops in the clouds hitting the pavement as warm mist after a very, very long fall...... the humidity was crushing, but it was good to see the old city alive in the downtown area....

.... but venture a few streets over?..... and Chattanooga is a ghost town for block after block..... derelict warehouses, closed businesses, weedy sidewalks trailing alongside the abandoned parking lots of old manufacturing buildings.... it's an economic cemetery that rivals the one north of the city for the Civil War dead....... but down at the river?...at the Imax, the aquarium, the restaurants, and the museums?.... you'd think that you were in the very cradle of civilization...... accompanied by sno-cones, gourmet pizzas, and ice-cold imported beer & live entertainment.........

.... I love Chattanooga..... it is a city that holds many, many wonderful memories for me....... but today, I found it heartbreaking to see what a difference three streets over can make for a city.......

..... the song that at the top of this post has been in my head all day, and that is why I posted it..... perhaps it put me in the mood for seeing the heavier side of Chattanooga today...... then again, the song is about hope...... so maybe that is what I am supposed to glean from today's tour of the urban backroads........

...... there is always hope, I believe....... always..... even if we're not sure how to change things, there must always be hope.....

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Sardines.....

.... well, the whittling continues apace around here... and so far it is appearing that it'll likely be some kind of penguinesque statuette that emerges..... imagine that, eh?........

....... but in other news, I cannot describe just how crestfallen I am to report that I haven't seen hide nor hair of my skunk visitor since de-mothballing the .22 magnum, sighting in the scope at 50 meters, and procuring a tin of sardines at the local Save-a-Lot yesterday afternoon....

..... you know, I've never killed a skunk before..... and I've never really held a grudge against any skunk in particular.... I've smelled lots of them, sure, but I've never been sprayed...... never had a doggie slink home bearing the evil funk of having tangled with one the night before..... hell, I've never even been a party to a vehicular homicide of a wayward skunk..... and yet...... and yet...... something deep inside me is more than just a little bit disappointed at the disappearance of that cat-food stealing skunk.....

.... perhaps it was the challenge of seeing if I could cap him without him finding a chance to spray...... then again, maybe my bloodlust has just gone too long without being slaked by the sacrificial life force of a cute, forest dwelling critter..... good lord, God knows I haven't drawn a deadly bead on anything larger than a squirrel in over 10 months.... something's gotta give, rubberneckers........

..... who ever knew that Pepe LePew could cause such a skew in my perspective of view......

.... mercy, that was bad......

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Arriving.....

..... I took a major break from just about everything today and spent the largest part of the afternoon in the garage with a block of wood and one of my Father's old pocket knives........ and so far, the jury is still out..... my carving abilities are slow on the turn-out, it appears, but I am forever optimistic - just as I always am in most endeavors........

.... the truly funny thing is that I tried ALL of the little tools in the kit that I bought..... and while I could hold them, see their purpose, and test the wood with them, they all felt foreign in a way that is hard to explain...... I tried and tried, but they just didn't feel right in my hand - or as they met the wood.......

..... after two hours of scraping, I opted for the scalpel-type tool...... this lasted for another hour before I finally gave up....

... I wandered inside, found a History Channel program about Henry VIII, and was quite content for a while....... but as the clock ticked forward and it approached the Gin & Tonic Hour, I remembered my Father....... and a quick walk out to the gun safe saw me happy with an Old Timer whittler in my sweaty little hands.......

.... today I sat for five hours caressing my little block of wood with the small blade of that Old Timer, and it worked as advertised, folks.......

...... perhaps I didn't need the tools after all........ all I really needed was a piece of blank canvas and a tool that I had owned all along.....

.... strange how that works out, eh?....... sometimes what you need is sitting right in front of you the entire time.......... and all that we have to do is open our eyes and grasp the tools that we need......

.... but hey...... it's not the destination that is most gratifying, is it?..... it's the journey........ or at least that is the way that I look at it......... like Townes said in his famous work "To Live is To Fly"..... where you've been is good and gone, all you keep is the gettin' there........

.... and tomorrow, I will carve again with Dad's old knife.......

..... and with that, I'm off, children....... y'all have a good night.......

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Behind......

..... I woke up humming this song while preparing to "hunt" the skunk who has been sneaking into the garage these past four days.......

... odd, I know, but hey, what better of a tune could you hope to have running through your head whilst stalking something that you must so strategically kill to keep the collateral damage down?.....

... besides, REM just kicks ass.... you know?.....

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Pepe.....

..... strange things are afoot in the wind, rubberneckers.......

.... and indeed, this very late-morning I spied this particular sight through the window of the door that leads out to the garage......

.... Fred and Bob were asleep on the pool table while this little fellow chow'd down on their kitty nibbles from less than fifteen feet away.....

... check it out....

skunk.jpg

... and THAT, my dazzling urbanites, is certainly not a kitty cat....

.... the most horrible thing about this situation, actually, is that when I made an attempt to scare it away from breakfast it disappeared in a flash..... straight under my upright gun safe...... ten seconds later I saw a pink nose flash out, give a few whiffs, and then it was right back to breakfast.......

..... but, wow, my gun safe?....... is nothing sacred in this world any longer?......

.... how big do they make mouse traps anyway?.....

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Blocks...

.... I now own a set of carving tools and a 2X2X12 block of linden wood..... next week's task will be to attempt to figure out what structure is hiding in the little block of wood and set it free...... but if I were a betting man, I'd say that the only thing that is hiding in my little block of linden wood is a smaller block of linden wood vaguely shaped like a toothpick.... buy, we shall see!....

... it's odd, really.... I've painted, sketched, and penciled, but I've never carved anything before.... and thus far my only foray into sculpting resulted in a 24-inch long copper lizard dangling haphazardly from my garage wall...

.... now all I need is a vice, a hacksaw, and a shitload of sandpaper....... hey, here's to a world of three dimensions..... .

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Stripping.....

.... I re-watched The Full Monty again this evening after dinner, and was - as always - quite moved and inspired..... it truly is one of the most heartwarming films that "gets me" every time...... having said that, one cannot deny the certain parallels between The Fully Monty and particular aspects of blogging..... no?......

..... well, maybe not, rubberneckers....... but it is enough that YOU know that I see it that way......... and hey, feel free to sing along!.....

...... as for me, I shall leave my hat on........ it's a pith helmet, actually, not really a hat......... but hey, there you go......

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Tales....

.... it is no secret around my neck of the woods that my family's bullshitting lying story telling skillz border on the epic..... mostly on my Mother's side of the family, of course..... my Father wasn't much of a storyteller unless it was a bedtime story.... and then?.... good god, he'd get so engrossed in a story that my Mother would end up wandering through near midnight to drag him off to bed...... Eric the Red and his sidekick, Toothless the Alligator were always the ones that enjoyed making up best.... Eric owned a grape vine, you see..... and Toothless could only eat grapes due to his teeth all having fallen out..... anyway, you get the point...... Eric and Toothless were the bestest of pals and got into all kinds of adventures...

... but on my Mother's side of the family, I grew up listening to the Uncles on that side spin some real, out-of-this-world doozies..... my Father would just squat down by the fire or swing, smoke his cigarette, and grin as he listened..... knowing good and well that what was going on around him was pure Entertainment and definitely NOT meant to be taken as The Truth...... and I like to think that I learned more from him than I did my Uncles when it came to telling tales....

... there is a time and a place for everything, I suppose..... and just trust me, no one on this earth can tell a story like a Southerner when he has a rapt audience and the correct props - a covered swing, a few shade trees, and a pint of moonshine (or a gallon of sweet tea - depending on the time of day and if there happen to be children present.).....

... this past Independence Day found most of my Mother's siblings gathered with their various broods at HER house for hotdogs, pulled pork sandwiches, swimming in the pool, etc... and while the wives lazed by the pool reading their magazines and the children splashed in and out of the pool, the menfolk, as usual, gravitated towards the old covered swing that my Father had made.... and it was there that the bullshit began to be spread thick and fast....

.... I did learn one thing this year, though..... and honestly, it had never really crossed my mind before (and it should have), but telling yarns is a Generational thing.... see, one can only tell a lie so many times before the audience can clue in, butt in, and then re-tell it better than The Teller was doing.... for some reason, that had never been truly shined out to me until this past 4th of July......

.... my Uncle Jim and Uncle Tony (fully ensconced in the swing with legs crossed) represented the "already been bullshitted" generation, and my young Cousin Calvin was telling a tale (as we'd all been basically taught to do.).....

Calvin: I was reading in the Vonore Democrat the other day that some fella had rented out a parcel of land around Loudon to do some deer huntin' on this fall..... the way I heard it, he'd strapped his chainsaw to his 4-wheeler and was clearing out the path up into the woods where he was going to put his stand.... anyway, he ran over this log and continued on his way...... a few hours later he headed back home came upon that log across the path again.... this time he decided to clear it away with his chainsaw...... and just as he cranked his saw, it MOVED!.... he sawed it in half and killed it.... evidently the guys at the University of Tennessee identified the remains as a 22-foot long anaconda!.....

Uncle Jim: ..... is that right?....

Calvin: Evidently...seems that after the folks identified it they gave it back to him and he disposed of it in the river...

Uncle Jim: .... I guess he didn't figure that anyone would be wanting to see the remains of a Volkswagen-eating snake from South America living right here in East Tennessee, eh?.....

Calvin: Guess not..... the paper didn't have any photos or anything... but they offered a thousand dollar reward for anyone who would bring in another specimen and let them photograph it....

... it was at this point that Uncle Jim stretched his back, spit, took a sip of sweet tea (it wasn't dark enough for the moonshine yet), and lit a cigarette......

Uncle Jim: ..... see, first off, I've heard variations of that story my whole damned life, Calvin..... it's interesting, sure.... it's mildly amusing, sure..... and it's completely un-provable - which is the most important part...... but, Goddamn, boy, if you're going to tell a good lie, then you have to sell it properly!...... for instance, you say he ran over it on the way UP the road?.... and it lay there waiting for him to come back?... to be run over again??..... c'mon, boy, use your noggin....... and just how do you think YOU would react if some redneck sidled up to you while you were lazing along a roadbed and decided to cut you in half with his chainsaw?..... wouldn't you wiggle just a bit, hmmm?.... or perhaps fucking FLEE?..... or maybe even try to bite the leg of that which was chainsawing you?...... I call bullshit on this one....Complete and Utter..... and damn, I wish it was dark enough to have a drink right about now......

Calvin: Well, maybe so, but that's what I heard read...

Uncle Jim: ..... well, if you're going to tell that story from now on, you need a bunch of better damned twists... and I mean a BUNCH.....

Uncle Tony: ... yeah, I'd ditch the whole chainsaw thing and say that he tripped over while walking up the path and ended up stabbing it to death with his car keys while he fought for his life...... hell, Calvin, ain't NOBODY going to believe that it lay there and let him cut it up with a chainsaw.....

Me: ...... that car keys idea is hardcore, Uncle Tony..... I'd have believed that....

Calvin: .... *leaning back on his rock and sipping more sweet tea looking a bit disgruntled*......

... and thus ended that vein of conversation for the evening..... I ended up taking the floor and yammering on about pachinko machines, but I believe that their listening abilities had gone off the boil by then..... but that was ok, really...... my stories seldom involve errant anacondas or chainsaws.....

... it's not that I can't make up a good lie when I want to, you know.... it's just that I find it too tiresome..... I'd much rather do like my Dad and just sit back and listen to them rather than make them up myself.........

..... I've never been much of a liar, I guess...... but I certainly appreciate an entertaining one when I find him... hell, I grew up in a whole NEST of them....... and it was a great way to grow up.....

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Boots...

.... meet two old friends, gentle rubberneckers....... we first met in September of 1991 when the Aleutian SAR team (Adak) was handed a REI catalog and told to "gear up"..... each of us members were allowed to spend 500 bucks for personal equipment, and one of the goodies that I chose was a pair of genuine Danner Ft. Lewis boots.....

old_danners_small.jpg

... I still find it hard to believe that they're nearly twenty years old.... good grief, the time does fly, doesn't she?....... never re-soled, they must have been shined and/or treated with Sno Seal at least 500 times over the years.... and they are still just as warm, comfortable, and waterproof as they were the day that I first slipped them on my footsies and tromped off into the slushy tundra with them....

... I took them out of the closet today, brushed off the dust left on them from when Elisson and I camped during the winter, and doused them heavily with Red Wing Shoe's Waterproofing & Conditioning Liquid before buffing them up....

... sure, they droop a little from the 5,000 miles or more that I've worn them, but they are still truly as good as new......

.... and you know, I think the droop gives them a bit of character.... kinda like Kirk Douglas' dimpled chin... or the comfortable, self-assured slouch of Lee Marvin when he had his game on and a twinkle in his eye........

.... then again, when you spend big money on great equipment and maintain it properly?..... well, it'll usually more than pay for itself in the long run...... Danner boots, folks.... best 200 bucks that I ever spent......

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