Badges....

.... I've said it before, gentle rubberneckers, and I shall say it again.... no one tells lies like ole Tommy does......

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Looks.....

.... maybe it is just me, but I found this to be one of the sexiest scenes that I have ever witnessed where both folks had their clothes on......

..... sometimes you just don't have to say anything at all........

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Songs....

... I awoke humming this song...... the poplar trees had just begun to drop the first of their September leaves in the front lawn, and I thought of long ago Helens and Blood Mountains....... and smoke filled cabins with guitars being played....... and many, many other nights.....

...... I do so love a set of blue eyes......

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Sliding......

...... I remember the first time that I ever took a base away from an opponent.... it was second base, and I was 11 years old.....

..... my Mother was in the stands and my Uncle was my coach.......and on one hot little summer night in Englewood, Tennessee - with a million insects circling the lights that illuminated the small ball-field - I hit my first double....... I remember how my left knee stung as I straightened myself on second base........ and how, as I dusted myself off after my slide, I gazed off towards centerfield and up at the lights...... cicadas chirping wildly and the gigantic luna moths circling the lights...... the heat of a steamy southern evening choking the air around me........

.... I heard my Mother clapping and I turned myself towards her... and there she sat sitting straight-legged on the concrete slabs that made up the stands........ I was in heaven......

..... but, good lord.... what must it take to spur a middle-aged woman to sit in sweltering heat after a long day of work to waste her evening on a set of concrete bleachers whilst her son spent an evening under the spotlights?........

..... Dixie Lee Youth, folks.... it is what us youngsters once did in the evenings before video games and cheap internet porn were invented.......

... actually, that is a bit of a lie, I guess..... since Space Invaders and the Atari were already on the go by then...... it's just that my folks couldnt afford an Atari..... and the old baseball catcher's mitt was a hand-me-down.... and actually, baseball didn't cost my folks a dime - other than their time...... which, even though I am childless myself - is catching me as a more and more precious resource as the days tick by.......

..... my eighth grade year ended with me hitting 36 homeruns..... big stuff for a little guy like me, and especially when our centerfield fence was sitting at 300 feet (and was really the border for the local football field and never meant for gauging baseball whacks.).........

..... the very next year?..... I traded my cleats in for working boots as my Mother underwent surgery on her back........ and although I lettered my freshman year, I never played a single game.......

.... and now I bounce a ball sometimes with The Missus...... not a baseball, but a Hi-Bounce Pinky instead......... and it is fun.......

..... and she is a pretty good catch, if the truth be told.........

..... we all miss opportunities, I guess.......... and perhaps that is the gist of this post tonight........ then again, perhaps I didn't miss all that much, really......... perhaps I just miss the feeling of The Slide........ standing up on second base, dusting yourself off, looking at the gigantic lights illuminating center field, and wondering if your Momma had just seen you make a double......... after all, there is nothing like knowing she is watching you when you succeed.......

.... I awoke this morning from a dream...... and after calming myself, all I could think of was how proud I was when I finished catching my first double-header........ I didn't hit a homerun that set...... and I didn't even make a double........ but I did block home plate for an out on a guy stealing home from third......... and we won the All Star game for McMinn county that year against those cretins from Riceville..........

..... we try, we do....... we all try..... .and some of us succeed.......... but as for me, I will never forget that first time that I tagged ass to earth and slid for a double......... if we never try, then we never do........ and we have always, always, ALWAYS have to try........ we have to take that chance.......

.... slide, rubberneckers......... we all need to do it more often..........

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Rules....

...... behold my latest reading material...... and hey, it is absolutely amazing........

..... here is a snippet that had me giggling for hours........

Although it has been said that on Earth alone in our Galaxy is Krikkit (or cricket) treated as fit subject for a game, and that for this reason the Earth has been shunned, this does only apply to our Galaxy, and more specifically to our dimension. In some of the higher dimensions they feel they can more or less please themselves, and have been playing a peculiar game called Brockian Ultra-Cricket for whatever their transdimensional equivalent of billions of years is. ``Let's be blunt, it's a nasty game'' (says The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy) ``but then anyone who has been to any of the higher dimensions will know that they're a pretty nasty heathen lot up there who should just be smashed and done in, and would be, too, if anyone could work out a way of firing missiles at right-angles to reality.''

This is another example of the fact that The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy will employ anybody who wants to walk straight in off the street and get ripped off, especially if they happen to walk in off the street during the afternoon, when very few of the regular staff are there.

There is a fundamental point here.

The history of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of idealism, struggle, despair, passion, success, failure, and enormously long lunch-breaks.

The earliest origins of the Guide are now, along with most of its financial records, lost in the mists of time.

For other, and more curious theories about where they are lost, see below.

Most of the surviving stories, however, speak of a founding editor called Hurling Frootmig.

Hurling Frootmig, it is said, founded the Guide, established its fundamental principles of honesty and idealism, and went bust.

There followed many years of penury and heart-searching during which he consulted friends, sat in darkened rooms in illegal states of mind, thought about this and that, fooled about with weights, and then, after a chance encounter with the Holy Lunching Friars of Voondon (who claimed that just as lunch was at the centre of a man's temporal day, and man's temporal day could be seen as an analogy for his spiritual life, so Lunch should

(a) be seen as the centre of a man's spiritual life, and

(b) be held in jolly nice restaurants), he refounded the Guide, laid down its fundamental principles of honesty and idealism and where you could stuff them both, and led the Guide on to its first major commercial success.

He also started to develop and explore the role of the editorial lunch-break which was subsequently to play such a crucial part in the Guide's history, since it meant that most of the actual work got done by any passing stranger who happened to wander into the empty offices on an afternoon and saw something worth doing.

Shortly after this, the Guide was taken over by Megadodo Publications of Ursa Minor Beta, thus putting the whole thing on a very sound financial footing, and allowing the fourth editor, Lig Lury Jr, to embark on lunch-breaks of such breathtaking scope that even the efforts of recent editors, who have started undertaking sponsored lunch-breaks for charity, seem like mere sandwiches in comparison.

In fact, Lig never formally resigned his editorship --- he merely left his office late one morning and has never since returned. Though well over a century has now passed, many members of the guide staff still retain the romantic notion that he has simply popped out for a ham croissant, and will yet return to put in a solid afternoon's work.

Strictly speaking, all editors since Lig Lury Jr have therefore been designated Acting Editors, and Lig's desk is still preserved the way he left it, with the addition of a small sign which says ``Lig Lury Jr, Editor, Missing, presumed Fed''.

Some very scurrilous and subversive sources hint at the idea that Lig actually perished in the Guide's first extraordinary experiments in alternative book-keeping. Very little is known of this, and less still said. Anyone who even notices, let alone calls attention to, the curious but utter coincidental and meaningless fact that every world on which the Guide has ever set up an accounting department has shortly afterwards perished in warfare or some natural disaster, is liable to get sued to smithereens.

It is an interesting though utterly unrelated fact that the two or three days prior to the demolition of the planet Earth to make way for a new hyperspace bypass saw a dramatic upsurge in the number of UFO sightings there, not only above Lords Cricket Ground in St. John's Wood, London, but also above Glastonbury in Somerset.

Glastonbury had long been associated with myths of ancient kings, witchcraft, ley-lines an wart curing, and had now been selected as the site for the new Hitch Hiker's Guide financial records office, and indeed, ten years' worth of financial records were transferred to a magic hill just outside the city mere hours before the Vogons arrived.

None of these facts, however strange or inexplicable, is as strange or inexplicable as the rules of the game of Brockian Ultra-Cricket, as played in the higher dimensions. A full set of rules is so massively complicated that the only time they were all bound together in a single volume, they underwent gravitational collapse and became a Black Hole.

A brief summary, however, is as follows:

Rule One: Grow at least three extra legs. You won't need them, but it keeps the crowds amused.

Rule Two: Find one good Brockian Ultra-Cricket player. Clone him off a few times. This saves an enormous amount of tedious selection and training.

Rule Three: Put your team and the opposing team in a large field and build a high wall round them.

The reason for this is that, though the game is a major spectator sport, the frustration experienced by the audience at not actually being able to see what's going on leads them to imagine that it's a lot more exciting than it really is. A crowd that has just watched a rather humdrum game experiences far less life-affirmation than a crowd that believes it has just missed the most dramatic event in sporting history.

Rule Four: Throw lots of assorted items of sporting equipment over the wall for the players. Anything will do --- cricket bats, basecube bats, tennis guns, skis, anything you can get a good swing with.

Rule Five: The players should now lay about themselves for all they are worth with whatever they find to hand. Whenever a player scores a ``hit'' on another player, he should immediately run away and apologize from a safe distance.

Apologies should be concise, sincere and, for maximum clarity and points, delivered through a megaphone.

Rule Six: The winning team shall be the first team that wins.

Curiously enough, the more the obsession with the game grows in the higher dimensions, the less it is actually played, since most of the competing teams are now in a state of permanent warfare with each other over the interpretation of these rules. This is all for the best, because in the long run a good solid war is less psychologically damaging than a protracted game of Brockian Ultra-Cricket.

.... I just can't get by the bit where the collection of rules was so enormous that it collapsed under its own weight and created a black hole........

.... my goodness.....

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Chet....

..... long day, but it ended quite nicely...... I ended up having my brother drop by after dinner for a few games of pool....... and I won for a change.......

..... still, this was the song of the night....... it is too bad that Chet was so broken...... he reminds me a bit of Townes in his earlier years.....

..... the Gershwins were amazing......

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Moons....

.....I saw the moon tonight for the first time in ages....... just a sliver of a thing, really........ how is it that such small things can inspire us so?.......

.... anyway, time for another song......... I am cracking, and so is The Missus' arm, and I really don't want to deal, so....... here it is....... a feel good song......

.... feel the in and out....... feel the breathing of the song....

... I have listened to this song since high school, and it has always struck me the same way......

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